DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a female with a male roommate; we came up with a verbal agreement where I cook dinner every night and he does the dishes. I always take into consideration any food allergies, likes and dislikes.
One night, I made dinner as usual, and my roommate came home after I was done eating, which is normal for him. When I asked him...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am in my late 20s, and find myself the only single person in a small mixed-gender group of friends. Generally this isn't an issue. However, one man in the group started dating a young lady about a year ago and they recently became engaged. Since then, he and his intended have begun having get-togethers to which all of our ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I arrived a few minutes early for an 11:15 a.m. appointment with my podiatrist. The assistant took me to the exam room on time, asked the pre-exam questions and departed, saying, The doctor will be in soon. Again and again, I was told that it would be soon.
At 11:45, I put my footgear back on and asked if I would be out by...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have seen the rule that one does not tip the owner of a business. Why is this?
The owner of the salon is doing the exact same service for you as someone renting a booth from them. There is absolutely no logic to not tipping the owner.
My family members and I all work in the service industry, from restaurants to hospitality...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was taught that at the beginning of any phone call I make, it is polite to ask whether or not my friend is busy. I always ask, Are you busy now? or, Do you have time to talk?
However, many people who call launch directly into conversation without asking. It seemed to happen even more during the pandemic, when many of us ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Back in the olden days, when I was in a home economics class, I was told that when setting a table, the knife and spoon were placed on the left side of the plate and the forks were placed on the right.
The explanation for this was that in the semi-civilized medieval times, the knife was placed on the left because most people ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My girlfriend has done a lot for my family and me, but my family shows little enthusiasm for her. How can I get them to appreciate her more and to reciprocate what she has done? I live in fear of them attacking her or being cynical about romance itself.
She has helped me get a job, gotten me a raise, written letters to my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've been studying with a teacher, a married man, to learn about intuition and other skills for a few years. My late husband and I took an extended course from this man, and we are now working together on an online training program. He and I are close, but not romantically.
The problem is that things have been uncomfortable ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son is in a specialized field where jobs are hard to come by, but when they do, they are very profitable.
What can I say to nosy acquaintances who ask why he isn't working, and tell me he should just take any job because he has to make money? I feel they don't understand the extreme specialty of his career choice and are ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: If I tell others that I have gotten the COVID vaccine, they inevitably ask how I qualified. That's a sensitive question; I do have a qualifying condition, but many of my friends and colleagues do not know that. Others may have qualified based on their body-mass index or their age, which they might not wish to discuss.
When I ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My elderly mother always impressed upon me the importance of thank-you notes, for which I am grateful. She also has often confided her displeasure at not receiving them from various family members after gift-giving.
She has now gifted each of her children with a nice sum of money, for which I am extremely grateful. In ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a city, and my house is closely surrounded by tall buildings. In the mornings, I often briefly go out to the fenced back garden to perform tasks such as feeding the birds or toting recyclables to the bin.
I am often not yet dressed for public presentation, but rather am wearing casual loungewear that I would never ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: More than once, I have heard the advice that it is a good idea to keep in touch with former bosses and professors in case a recommendation is needed in the future.
While I understand the reasoning for this advice, I do not understand how to execute it. How do I keep in touch with people who are not my friends without its ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a real hard time with people who give their first child up for adoption and then continue having more.
Example: My brother-in-law gave up a child for adoption, then became a very successful person: retired Marine, business owner, real estate agent, broker, pilot, and the list goes on. He's been married for 30 years and...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do I maintain a friendship with a long-ago college sorority sister who is an apparent Trump supporter and whose eldest son is named after a Confederate general? I haven't seen her in years -- we live in different states -- but find myself making political remarks to her online.
She recently posted a picture of Elvis ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Fifty years ago, I divorced a cheating, abusive spouse and never looked back. Even though we still live in the same community, there has been no contact whatsoever since the divorce.
Several years ago, my oldest decided to reconnect with my ex-husband, and talks with him a few times a year for birthdays or holidays. I've said...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there some social decorum for dealing with people who seem to be trying to force a confrontation? For instance, when you don't immediately move out of someone's way when walking down a grocery aisle, and they get in your personal space, shouting and cursing and aggressively following you even though you try to excuse ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Someone I know who just got married six months ago has caught her husband cheating, and is now filing for divorce. The question is: Do they need to return the wedding gifts?
GENTLE READER: Did they write each person to give thanks for those presents?
Miss Manners asks because she is making a new rule -- or rather, amending ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am 22 years old, and have recently realized that I am a calm person by nature. I have suffered inwardly for years because my mom, being excessively gregarious, loud and intrusive, made me believe as a child that I had to be like her in order to be liked by others.
So instead of learning to be myself, which would have been ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My grandson sent high school graduation announcements to his aunts, grandparents and friends of the family. He did not receive a congratulations card or gift from anyone but us (his grandparents). His parents did not have a party for him, but his older sister received gifts and a party.
Is a gift contingent on a party, or on ...Read more