Life Advice



Serious Allergy Demands Frank -- Polite -- Conversation

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have developed an allergy to shellfish, and it appears that my reactions to it are increasing. Whereas initially, I just had hives when I'd eat something like shrimp, I can now have a reaction if I'm just sitting near someone who's eating it.

This is new to me, so I'm trying to navigate the best I can. I strive to be as ...Read more

Lonely Sister Keeps Crashing My Plans

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I graduated from school, I moved in with my parents to start saving for a home. I am so close, and am looking forward to purchasing a home in the next six months or so!

Where my struggle comes in is with my older sister, who moved back to the city shortly before I did. She makes quite a bit more than me and was able to ...Read more

Colleagues Left Me Out Of Takeout Order

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I want to be upfront and admit that I'm a picky eater, and that I am also on a budget. So I rarely say yes to work invitations to order out. However, whenever I am in charge of ordering for our group, I make sure to invite everyone.

One day, our group was planning to eat lunch together and decided to order from one of my ...Read more

Bathroom Door Sign Would Alleviate Awkwardness

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work in a business where the door to the men's room is the traditional type of door you would find in a residence. In other words, it has a doorknob that you turn to gain entry, as opposed to a door that you simply push to enter and that automatically closes.

I have a long-running debate with a co-worker who always ...Read more

You Can't Snub Someone Who's Already Snubbed You

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am about to use the cut direct in a social situation on someone who absolutely merits it. Everyone in our social circle agrees that this person, an unmarried lady of equal social status to me, has behaved in an outrageous manner to both me and my romantic partner.

We are soon to attend a gathering which this person will ...Read more

Should I Pretend I Never Saw This Insulting Email?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend forwarded to me, I believe in error, an email message written by a mutual acquaintance that was rather disparaging towards me personally. I suppose this is the electronic equivalent of accidentally overhearing a conversation.

What would be the appropriate response? Should I address the comments directly, as in, What ...Read more

Illness Takes Patient's Hair, Leaves Nosy Questions

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: After surgery for a cancerous tumor and six months of chemotherapy, I lost all the hair on my entire body. I am grateful that I am alive, but I am struggling with comments regarding my hair.

My hair was one of my best features. It was a beautiful color and texture, and I received compliments often. Now, I don't know what to ...Read more

Redirecting A Gift Earmarked For Different Relative

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Many years ago, I established a college fund for my nephew. As it turns out, the nephew never attended any post-high school education or training.

I would like to give this money to his mother, my sister. She, frankly, is not doing well; she lives alone and the money would provide some help as she nears retirement.

What ...Read more

Mismatched Entree Timing

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: This has happened to me a few times at various restaurants, and I never know what to do. It's about entrees arriving at different times.

For example, I was dining with three friends. Two of us ordered regular entrees, while the others ordered entree salads. The salads arrived first, but it took another 15 minutes for the ...Read more

Shopping Cart Etiquette

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Where should I park my shopping cart while choosing items and/or reading labels for contents?

I leave my cart in the middle of the aisle, thereby allowing other shoppers to look at the same items, and I step out of the way to allow passersby through.

I believe other shoppers feel hurried when I wait for them to finish ...Read more

Conversations Should Be Give-And-Take

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was told to to take a course in communication in reference to the way I have conversations. An acquaintance loudly informed me that when they initiate a conversation about their day, it is my job to only listen and agree.

But what if I do not agree? Am I just to sit there and pretend? I'm not quite sure how to handle this. ...Read more

Celebrating A New Author Needn't Be Complicated

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have never been invited to a book party like the ones covered in the newspapers for famous authors, given by their equally famous friends.

Nevertheless, an acquaintance has just had her first novel published, and I rather rashly offered to throw her a book party. This partly has to do with the fact that I recently moved ...Read more

Trust Your Gut And Lose This Creepy Customer

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a one-woman band with a small plant nursery business. A professional relationship has quickly turned icky, but turning away business isn't a great option for me.

I had been working with this man for about a month when he showed up one day just to talk and get to know me. He probed for personal information. I let him know...Read more

Friend's 'how Are You?' Comes With Conditions

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: An old friend of mine has recently developed what I consider to be a disrespectful habit. Each time we speak, he prefaces the conversation with, How's everything going? Except for work, that is, suggesting that I spend too much time on the subject, which I don't. I hardly ever mention my job, but even if I had, so what?

I ...Read more

First Rule Of Bunco: Do Not Ask About Vaccines

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Pre-COVID, I was asked to join a long-standing bunco group. Now the group wants to start playing again -- without any safety protocols. We met to discuss options, and I asked who had been vaccinated. If we were all are vaccinated, I stated, then we didn't really need an in-depth conversation.

I was very vehemently informed ...Read more

Managing Multiple Conversations Requires Finesse

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: This often happens when I am in a social gathering of, say, seven or eight people: While someone is saying something to the group that I am interested in and may want to respond to, another person turns to me and starts talking about something else.

I understand that with this many people, the conversation will often shift ...Read more

Don't Make A Scene When Leaving Early

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: At a party with many friends and acquaintances, if you need to leave some two hours early (and have mentioned it to a few people), must you go up to everyone and say goodbye? Or only to the hosts, after thanking them?

GENTLE READER: Conspicuous leave-taking tends to break up a party, and should therefore be reserved for an ...Read more

Part-Time Professor's Students Show Insufficient Deference

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: As a part-time university professor, I have of late been receiving emails from students who use the closing salutations Best and Best regards. A bit of research reveals that many websites do recommend use of these terms by students.

Personally, I find these closings to be far too personal. They actually rankle me.

One way to...Read more

The Etiquette Of Eating Eggs

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife insists that cutting up over-easy eggs on my plate before eating them is borderline Neanderthal behavior. Is it? (Many people I know do it.)

GENTLE READER: The pre-cutting of food should be generally reserved for those doing it on behalf of someone who might otherwise struggle or choke -- the young, the infirm, and ...Read more

Are You Sure You're Actually Dating This Guy?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been dating a widower from my church for more than four years. But when he comes to church, he acts like he does not know me.

Our church has a lunch program every Sunday, and he hasn't sat with me and eaten with me. When he goes on vacation, it's usually with his three kids, their spouses and his five grandkids. They ...Read more



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