DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son, who is 13, has a job mowing and weed-eating yards. He has started his own business: He bought his own equipment with saved-up birthday and Christmas money, and he keeps his business funds, spending money and savings in separate accounts. He sets his prices based on current fuel costs and the price of other parts and ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I traded in his car for a used luxury sedan. As we came home from the dealership, one of our neighbors looked at the car, then at us, and asked if we'd bought a new car. I said, "Well, it's used, but new to us" and smiled. She answered back, "You can't afford that." I laughed and said, "I had no idea you were my...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a crowded area and parking is a hot topic. My car was parked in my driveway, and as I was loading stuff into the back, a person drove up and asked, "Are you leaving now?" I said, "This is my driveway," and repeated it a few times, adding, "I'm the only one who can park here."
I was honestly confused. They explained ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I don't understand croutons.
I love salad, and would like to enjoy croutons on my salad, but they are the size and shape of dice and the consistency of pumice. They are impossible to stab with a fork, and nearly impossible to balance on one.
My attempts at gracefully rendering them into a more manageable size invariably go ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Should I say "please" and "thank you" to my virtual assistants? I'm not happy with the ongoing dehumanization of our society -- for example, replacing the jobs of human beings with checkout robots so we don't have to stand in line and look at our neighbors for four minutes.
I don't ordinarily say, "Siri, PLEASE add milk to my...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a 45-year-old professional woman who is employed in higher education. I am also a married mother with three adult children. Like many people, I have a social media account with bland commentary on current events.
I also have a relatively large anonymous account, which has tens of thousands of followers. I love this ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My parents' neighbors sent my husband and me a gift for the birth of our first child. I've never met them, so this was unexpected, but we sent a prompt thank-you note and a picture of our baby wearing the item they'd given us.
A month later, the neighbors sent our baby a Halloween present, followed by a Thanksgiving present, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I believe that the rules of etiquette indicate that one should not use language that others find offensive, even if it doesn't seem so to oneself. I have just learned, for example, that "master bedroom" is offensive to some, so it should not be used.
The problem is that there doesn't seem to be anything that someone, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have noticed that many establishments, from coffee shops to boutiques, are using systems that automatically ask for a tip when you are checking out -- and "helpfully" give you choices of 15%, 20% and up.
To me, tipping has always made sense for instances such as haircuts and restaurants, where the person has spent a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: As someone with limited mobility, I must often take cabs. I once found myself in a taxi, for an hour-long ride, with a driver who read "alternative" news sites, believed in conspiracy theories and apparently wanted to talk about them. I'm not sure how the conversation began, nor could I determine the best way to bring it to a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friends and I, who are religion-free (otherwise known as atheist), are debating how to respond to people who tell us to "Have a blessed day" or use any other religious signoff. It's especially frustrating and offensive in what should be religion-free places of business, such as the doctor's office or a public agency.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A few years ago (pre-COVID), my son had a destination wedding in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He and his fiancee invited their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and about a dozen of their closest friends. We provided dinner and drinks for all guests after the rehearsal, and the bride's parents provided dinner and drinks for the ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: We often host friends and family for overnight visits. Before departing, some of our guests take it upon themselves to strip their beds and take their linens to the laundry room; some even start the washing machine. Of course we have never even hinted that this is expected, as it most certainly is not.
For me, it's also ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work in a cubicle in a fairly small, open-space office. One of the other sections of the office contains a group of kids in their 20s. They are constantly talking and laughing throughout the day.
I don't mind that they talk, but the problem is that they are loud. Very loud. Way, way too loud! Even though I sit all the way ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was talking with a colleague the other day when he referred to his "baby mama" and how he had helped her through a recent illness. Upon the conclusion of our conversation, I wished him and his "friend and, uh, baby mama" (mumbled) good health.
I love that families come in all shapes and sizes, but I have a hard time with ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a lovely silver candelabra that is a family piece. I keep it on display on a sideboard in my dining room with white taper candles. It is purely decorative; I have never had the occasion to use it for its intended purpose.
At a shower at my house, one of my friends took me aside to tell me that I was committing a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I recently joined a local country club. Our kids are grown and graduating from college this year, and we found ourselves with extra income and a social void.
The club we joined is family-friendly. However, the last few times we have gone, we have gotten stuck next to clueless parents who sit with other couples and...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Social media would be more enjoyable if people followed a few guidelines. First, some people post too much -- several times a day. Please recommend no more than three or four posts a week. Also, some people post too many pictures of their children or grandchildren. They may be dear to the family, but other people's interest in...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am an 11-year-old male. I've recently come across a dilemma when I try to read the writing on a girl's or woman's shirt.
More often than not, the print on a shirt is on the chest, and it may come across that I'm looking at her breasts. Since I am a boy, this is a serious issue I have. It seems awkward to say "Excuse me, I'm...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been with my girlfriend for a little over two years. We are madly in love, respect each other and communicate well; basically, we both seem to have hit the relationship jackpot. However, there is one thing I am hiding from her, and I'm not sure if I should feel guilty or even reveal it.
Now and then, we play a simple, ...Read more