DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband's old boss and his wife invited us to join a local yacht club. Ever since we joined, the wife has been bubbling with snippy comments about my grooming and hairstyle, alluding to where I may have purchased my clothing, and making numerous misguided class-oriented statements.
She seems to have brought me into the ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A boy I knew in college, but was not close friends with, recently moved to my city, and we decided to meet to reconnect. He brought pastries and I served tea on my patio.
When I brought out my blue tea set, he made some off-putting remark about the situation not requiring me to "break out my best china." The tone of it was ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I just began a full-time grad program that is small, demanding -- and excellent. I am 73 and my cohorts are in their 30s, and I haven't noticed any particular gap in our views nor any alienation from the others. I am just absorbed in the reading, writing and discussions, like we all are.
My concern centers on others' ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When issuing both formal invitations, such as to a wedding or dinner, as well as informal invitations, such as asking a friend to attend a movie together on the weekend, often a response is not received despite an RSVP date being clear.
When I haven't received a reply well past such a date, sometimes even sending a polite ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: In my group of friends, it is common that one friend will offer to host a gathering and handle all of the food. All they ask is that people bring what they want to drink.
I am not a big drinker, but I do enjoy it at these events, and I am rather picky about what I drink. So, bringing my own bottle of wine -- one that I know I...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: As a paid member of a tennis center, I was able to bring a nonmember friend to play at an event. At that occasion, she met other members, who invited her to return in the future and play as their guest.
I do not know these other people, nor do they know me, but apparently they are all continuing to play -- without me. That ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I'm talking to someone who represents a company, I sometimes say something like, "This is the fourth time I have called you."
The representative nearly always replies with, "I'm not the person you talked to last time. I didn't know about this issue before."
Sometimes I then say, "The word 'you' can be used as a plural; ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I would like to know how to reply to others when they make negative comments about where I am traveling.
Often, I need to let people know that I will be out of town. They always want to know where I am going, but follow it up with negative comments, such as "I wouldn't go there" or "I've heard that area is not worth visiting....Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Are people oblivious, uninformed, narcissistic or just plain rude when it comes to sports etiquette? From the golf course to the gym, these outings are becoming less enjoyable.
Slow players on the golf course -- whether it's a large group, or a small group playing multiple balls per person -- won't let others play through, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a close friend who loves to dress up in crazy outfits. They are almost costumelike: very garish and tacky (to me, anyway), with sequins, feathers, fringe, loud colors, etc.
To be clear, I applaud her desire to march to the beat of her own drum. I think she should dress however she wants to, as it's really none of my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a particular gift for a couple celebrating 27 months together?
GENTLE READER: A Gregorian calendar?
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 10-year-old daughter has a group of four friends that she has been close with for a few years now. We all live in the same community, and the girls attend the same school and do the same ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there any polite way to encourage someone who is recounting an anecdote to you to come to the point a little faster?
I am sure we have all had the experience: "So the shopkeeper, Brian -- was it Brian? Oh, dear, what was his name? Maybe it was Bruce. No, Bob! Yes, yes, that was it. So anyway, I hand Bob my $20 when I went ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been conflicted about whether to reestablish contact with a former girlfriend from college. I'm now in my late 60s; this was way back. The relationship didn't last very long, and I regret a lot about how I handled it. (I was a jerk.)
For many years afterward, we were in sporadic touch, but we haven't seen each other ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: As someone who doesn't eat candy, I don't know how to handle holidays like Valentine's Day, Halloween and Easter, when co-workers and neighbors often give out small bags of candy.
If they're handing it out to everyone, I'll often say something like, "Thank you so much for thinking of me! I don't eat candy, though, so maybe ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A major snowstorm was due to arrive. My friend called me and offered for me to come over to her house if I had a power failure, saying she had an extra bedroom and a generator, so her home would be warm. I thanked her.
The next day, she called to remind me of her generous offer, and added that I should bring my little dog ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a writer. When I am asked about my occupation in social settings, I am always hesitant to answer. More often than not, the person is not only curious about the entire publishing process, from idea to print, but they also have a book idea they want to pitch.
For example: "I have a great idea for a book! I just need a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it rude to call a newborn by something other than their full name, unless invited to do so by the parents?
We have given our child a four-syllable name. It is rare, but well-known from history, and it isn't complicated. So pronunciation shouldn't be an issue.
I expected the child to try out and settle on an abbreviated ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been ballroom and salsa dancing for 28 years. It is a great hobby, and it helps bridge generations. Most of the time, with respect to dance requests, I do the asking at socials, parties and clubs.
While I would like for the women I ask to say yes, it does not bother me if they say no. That is their right. I would ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am openly gay, as my family and friends have known for years. I have received an invitation from a close family member for a wedding to be held in a church that has taken public anti-gay positions.
I was offended when I saw where it would be held. This is not the couple's home church; it is a destination wedding. Clearly, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was being waited on at a copy center. I'm 82 years old. While talking with the clerk about my order, a young 20-something blond walked up next to me and told him she was there to pick up her order. The clerk stopped waiting on me and attended to the young blond.
I was very angry and I told the clerk that I didn't appreciate...Read more