Life Advice



One Sibling Excluded From Wedding

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister is getting married for the second time, and is having a traditional wedding party for the first time. My sisters and I are in the wedding, and our children are all included.

We have realized, though, that our brother was not asked to be a groomsman or anything else. I confronted my sister, and she said it's her ...Read more

Divvying Up The Dinner Check -- Again

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper way to handle paying a restaurant bill? Three met for dinner. Two of them had more expensive meals than the third.

When the check came, the third diner grabbed the check and pointed out the cost of my meal. Next came the calculator (embarrassing). At that point I looked at the bill and asked my husband if ...Read more

Trash On The Table

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: It appears that servers at casual-dining establishments are not trained to remove trash from tables. Every time I dine at one, my companions and I are soon faced with a pile of trash on the table and no place to put it: paper straw wrappers, creamer cups, used sugar packets and the sticky papers that are used in place of ...Read more

Meeting Friends For Dinner: Invitation Or Suggestion?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was raised, I was taught that the person who issued the invitation was the person who paid the bill. When I was dating, if I asked a young lady out for a movie or a meal, I expected to pay. Since being married, if my wife and I ask a friend or another couple out to a show or a meal, we pay for the tickets or the food.

...Read more

'no Offense, But ...' Usually Precedes Something Offensive

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: There are two ways people start a statement that I find extremely infuriating. They are: "No offense, but ..." and "I'm sorry, but ..."

These are invariably followed by something sexist, ageist or racist, or by repeating what the other person just said, then saying why that person is wrong and doesn't know what they are ...Read more

Scholars May Never Unlock Meaning Of 'have A Good One'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: There is a saying that is very common nowadays, and it bothers me. When I go to the bank, the post office or the grocery store and finish my transaction, the employee will often say, "Have a good one!"

What does that even mean? Have a good what? Do I get to remove the word "one" and fill it in myself with "day," "night," "...Read more

Each Airplane Seat Has Its Perks, Drawbacks

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I fly, I choose the aisle seat because I don't want to feel "hemmed in," as I do in the window and middle seats. But inevitably, the person in the window seat in my row puts the shade down so they can sleep. This makes me feel a little claustrophobic.

I have learned to grin and bear it, but it is annoying and feels rude....Read more

'just Kidding!' Doesn't Excuse Insults

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a proper reaction to people who brutally insult or criticize you, but immediately follow it up with "just kidding"?

My wife's sister uses the phrase constantly. On a recent visit, she disapproved of the meal, noted my recent 10-pound weight gain and disliked our new sofa -- she wasn't asked for her opinion on any of ...Read more

The 'are You Busy?' Trap

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I don't understand when someone asks, "Are you busy tomorrow?" or "What are you doing Friday?" If you say "no" or "nothing," it's like you're automatically free to do them a favor. I find this very rude.

If I want to ask for something, I always say, "Are you busy tomorrow? Because I need a ride to the doctor" or whatever.

...Read more

Ubiquitous Fundraisers Not 'socially Acceptable'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why has it become socially acceptable for online funding campaigns to be made for everyone and everything? Social media is flooded with them, each one asking for thousands of dollars, and it feels excessive.

Am I missing something, that this has become acceptable? Or is it the guilt of people who feel the need to make a page ...Read more

Not Everything Is An Attack

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was shopping at a local grocery store, looking for Italian breadcrumbs. Searching the aisles, I couldn't find them. I came upon a lady also obviously looking for something, and I innocently asked her if she'd seen the breadcrumbs.

Her response floored me. She said, "Why -- because I'm a woman?"

My response was, "No, ...Read more

Bring Your Own Beer, Artisan Gin, Tea Bag, Organic Milk ...

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I invited a new co-worker and his wife over for dinner and didn't ask them to bring anything.

I was a little surprised when they brought their own pre-dinner drinks -- two bottles of an imported craft beer for him, plus two cans of tonic and a water bottle containing 4 ounces of artisan gin for her.

She even brought her own ...Read more

Regular Customers Want To Befriend Clerk

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work at a convenience store near my home. I see the store's regulars every day, and of course we become friendly. Some I like more than others.

Occasionally, a customer will ask me for my phone number, claiming we should get together. This request comes from both male and female customers, some interested in friendship and ...Read more

Finding A Polite Version Of 'down In Front!'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: At an event where almost everyone is seated, am I rude for asking someone standing in front of me to sit down? Or is that person more rude?

I realize that there are several scenarios where it's tough cookies for me if I decide to sit, such as a stadium rock concert or a pep rally. That, I get.

What I don't get is people who ...Read more

I'm Nobody's Guest, Thank You Very Much

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a woman who works in a male-dominated industry, where I have earned a leadership role. I regularly attend industry events where spouses are included, and I love meeting my co-workers' spouses.

However, I am frequently asked who in the room I am married to, or whether I am married to my (male) boss. Sometimes other people...Read more

Knife Rules Haven't Changed

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was growing up, I was taught that under no circumstances did one point a blade, or any other sharp object, at another person. When handing a knife or a pair of scissors to someone else, one handed the article with the handle toward the recipient and the blade tip pointed toward oneself. Similarly, when setting the table...Read more

No One Tells Me When Bad Things Happen

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Lately, people have been saying to me, "It is not my story to tell" when I ask about the welfare of friends who might be having problems, or after I find out something devastating about a friend I care deeply about.

For example, I found out a friend's brother had died. When I asked why no one had told me, I was told, "It's ...Read more

The Doctor Is Not In

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a reputation for being a good listener and having a good shoulder to cry on. I am happy to listen to my friends' troubles and offer encouragement when needed.

But there are times when my personal medical issues take all of my time and energy to deal with, and the troubles of others would exhaust my emotional resources....Read more

Tricking My Friends Into Swimming With Sharks

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I graduated with my Ph.D. two years ago. My friends have been asking me nonstop to come for a visit. However, every time I visit, they just want to go bar-hopping, something I am not a fan of.

Now they are saying if I come visit, they will do something I want, as long as there is a low risk of getting sick, injured or killed....Read more

Galling Offer Deserves Appalled Response

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a dear friend who suffered a stroke as a teenager, which left her with weakness on one side of her body. She is now in her 40s and has a wonderful husband and a lovely daughter. She is an avid volunteer and artist.

While she was out in public with me recently, a woman approached my friend and asked if she could lay ...Read more



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