Life Advice



Thanking Neighbors And Friends Is Simple: Write To Them

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I underwent major surgery last year. I am recovering well, but it will, of course, take time to be up and moving normally. I live alone, having recently moved to the other side of the country for graduate school.

The people I have met over the last year have been so wonderful! I have had people bring me meals, help me run ...Read more

Missing Watch Creates Dilemma

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A business associate bought me an expensive watch to celebrate completing a deal. I wear it whenever I see him, and he never fails to compliment it. But it's not really my taste, so otherwise it sits in a box at home.

I recently moved homes, and the movers decided to relieve me of the watch, as I had not secured the box.

...Read more

Saving Face In Cases Of Mistaken Identity

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was at a small, socially distanced church service at a church I don't regularly go to, although I have been there a couple of times over the past year. A few people there may recognize me.

At the end of the service, the priest announced that it was a parishioner's 88th birthday. The gentleman in question appeared young and ...Read more

Exec's Disgusting Habit Needs To Move Offscreen

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a lowly communications professional at a technology firm. When we have video calls with upper-level people, our wonderful leader spits tobacco juice into a clear plastic bottle. On camera.

He spits elegantly, but I still want him to stop because it's gross. He's chewed tobacco since he was a young man, and when we're in ...Read more

Miss Manners Cannot Be Talked Into Approving Of Registries

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I found out that when my mother-in-law asks for gifts, she asks for things that she would not buy for herself. This came up because she recently mentioned that she never orders from a specific brand because it is so overpriced.

She had asked for, and I gave her, something from that brand last Christmas. I am insulted that she...Read more

Do The Right Thing, Even Though Neighbor Is In The Wrong

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A dog chased my 6-year-old son in our new neighborhood, and when my husband went over to talk to the dog's owner, we were assured it wouldn't happen again. Then the dog chased my son again -- and bit him -- the next week.

After I reported the bite (on the advice of my child's pediatrician), animal control came out to take ...Read more

Umbrella Gesture Misunderstood -- Or Not

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Coming upon a stranger in the rain, I offered to share my large umbrella with her. She came underneath the umbrella and said, I suppose that you say that to all pretty ladies.

I was shocked to have a gesture of simple humanity framed as sexual predation. I said, Yes, indeed, ma'am. And to all ugly ladies, as well. And also ...Read more

Husband's Table Topics Need Refining

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are both retired and normally get along great.

When we have no dinner planned, we both eat leftovers, sometimes at different times. This evening, I sat down for a leftover pork chop, noodles and a glass of merlot. My husband joined me to converse, but was not hungry yet. Then he started talking about his day'...Read more

Cellphones Have Changed The Concept Of 'Calling Hours'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was growing up, my mother always advised me to call friends between approximately 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. to avoid disturbing them, unless they had specifically advised me to reach them at other times.

Since the advent of cellphones, I find that I have been receiving calls and texts at all hours of the day and night! (None ...Read more

Are T-Shirts For Job Interviews Normal Now?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a lawyer in D.C., and I just completed a relatively prestigious yearlong fellowship/clerkship. I have had two job interviews thus far -- one for a government position and one for a nonprofit job -- and both times, I was surprised to find the interviewers wearing T-shirts, whereas I was wearing a suit.

Is it normal to ...Read more

Responding To An Insincere 'marry Me!'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am known as an exceptional cook and baker. I take great pleasure in entertaining, and pride myself on offering delicious, beautiful fare. Invitations are enthusiastically accepted, and even sought, which is certainly flattering.

I would consider myself otherwise to be a fairly average person: neither homely nor beautiful, ...Read more

Shunning, Shaming And Cancel Culture

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: It would seem that we have lost the art of social shunning.

I simply ignore and have nothing to do with bad people in public, or in my private life. As mentioned, you quickly move away in obvious horror from such people when you see or encounter them. They will eventually get it. If not, no loss to me.

GENTLE READER: Lost ...Read more

Kicking Customers Out, Hours After Closing

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work at a very small cafe. Because of COVID-19, our indoor capacity is limited to 25%, which is a maximum of 10 people. In good weather, we can use our outdoor seating to accommodate an additional 10 to 14.

Yesterday, the weather was great, so we were very busy all day long. We currently close at 2 a.m., but last night, two...Read more

Polite Alternatives To &Quot;Pull Your Mask Up, Bozo!&Quot;

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I know you have recommended moving away from others who choose not to wear masks during the pandemic. What is the proper response to retail or other service providers who wear their masks hanging below their noses?

This has happened to me twice lately. At a car lot, three salesmen were lingering by the showroom door, and one ...Read more

Family Visit Becomes One Big Project

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband's aunt and uncle live in an area a short plane ride away from us that is considered a destination. She sometimes visits us, and is always asking us to visit her, so last year, we finally committed to a date and visited for a week.

She didn't have any food, so we were required to go grocery shopping, which I didn't ...Read more

My Male Friends Keep Taking Over My Grill

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a widow in my mid-50s, and have been on my own for almost a decade. Occasionally I host informal groups of family or friends.

During the summer, I often plan menus with grilled meat because I have a propane barbecue out on the porch. It is a cantankerous old beast, but I am familiar with its eccentricities and can turn ...Read more

Friends Don't Pressure Friends Into Adultery

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I became fast friends and drinking buddies with an (essentially) married couple and the wife's business partner and close friend, a married man. They helped me through some hard times, although I don't hang out with them much anymore.

The wife, Arlene, and the partner, Josh, were often together because of their work, and she ...Read more

Beat Scrabble Opponent At Her Own Game

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I know in this current pandemic, there are pressing issues to discuss; however, I would appreciate your feedback on this board game question.

My sweet, loving wife and I have begun to play Scrabble together, but now we are in disagreement on fair play. Apparently, she has become quite good at Words With Friends, a smartphone ...Read more

Responding To Dismissive Comments From A Friend

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the best way to respond to someone who says, You have too much time on your hands?

A friend of mine is a kindhearted person and I love her dearly, but when I do something special for her or her kids, this is what she says. For example, I labeled the ice and water dispensers on my fridge for her, so she could get what ...Read more

Scolding Grocery Store Rule-Breakers Ineffective

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In these days of many new rules, all our local grocery stores now have one-way lanes. Being a highly obedient type, naturally I follow the arrows. (Although in the beginning, I have to admit I didn't notice them!)

When encountering a shopper coming toward me, I have taken to saying Oops, you're going the wrong way on a one-...Read more



Rubes Peter Kuper The Barn Signe Wilkinson Heathcliff Pearls Before Swine