DEAR MISS MANNERS: I gave birth to my son at age 39. My son is biracial, and we don't look exactly alike.
Since he was an infant, complete strangers have approached me to ask how we are related, with no prior conversation or interaction. The question is, invariably, "Hi, is that your grandson?"
Most of the time, I say with a straight face and ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband never dresses appropriately for events. When our kids graduated from high school, he wore jeans. Out to a nice dinner with friends: jeans. Anniversary dates -- yup, you guessed it: jeans.
They aren't even nice, dressier jeans, but distressed, dirty and obviously old. The strange thing is that he buys a lot of nice ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband works from home, and a colleague does not. Colleague sometimes texts my husband that there is a product or mail for him at the office, and kindly offers to drop it by our home. My husband accepts and is very appreciative.
The drop-off generally occurs on a weekend, early in the day, when I am either in bed or ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was in line at the checkout. I had put my items up on the belt for the cashier. A 50ish-year-old woman came up behind me, took a divider and PUSHED all my items together up the belt to make room for hers!
This is a TOP PET PEEVE for me! I was taught to be patient and wait my turn! I'm a 67-year-old woman and physically ...Read more
GENTLE READERS: There is a disturbing trend in Miss Manners' correspondence that she wishes to address, lest Gentle Readers give up hope of a more polite future. It concerns letters that begin:
-- "When did it become OK to ...?"
-- "Am I just being hopelessly old-fashioned or ...?"
-- "Am I being too sensitive when ...?"
What follows is an ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 21-year-old daughter has been dating a conservative young man since high school. He seems nice enough, and he is highly intelligent. They are both studying business in college.
She seems to want to marry him, and I have reservations. I am wondering what your thoughts might be on the following:
He does not give gifts, and ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: As parents, it is hard to see our children move away to college, but I believe raising them to fly is one of our most important jobs.
As college students form bonds, I see many out-of-state students get "adopted" by local students' families. There is comfort found in an occasional home-cooked meal, a much-needed mom hug or ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: After the tragedy in Uvalde, the chief of police began his statement with the greeting, "Good afternoon."
The next day, after an understandably sleepless night, I arrived at my job -- at a school -- filled with grief, only to be told "Good morning!" by five different colleagues.
All of these greetings seemed insensitive ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: After being away from our hometown for five years due to work, my husband and I are back, living just 30 minutes away from our daughter and her three little children. We are happy and excited to be back nearby.
We offered to watch the grandkids on Sunday, taking them on a picnic at a park near our home for the afternoon so ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: We just attended the wedding of a close friend's daughter at a hotel. Our table's main courses, braised beef or salmon, were offered in oddly generous portions. Each plate could have fed at least four people.
It seemed like such a waste that I quietly asked for a doggie bag, as I did intend to give some of it to our dog. This...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When people get together and make a toast, everyone wants to clink glasses. Is that necessary? Is it OK to just raise our glasses instead of physically touching everyone's drink?
I would be very grateful if your reply could convince my friends that feelings of goodwill would still be genuine if we didn't stretch across a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: If I email a non-urgent, work-related question to my manager, how many business days are generally appropriate before I should expect to receive a response?
GENTLE READER: As many as your manager feels are needed.
Miss Manners says this in all earnestness -- but not because she recognizes that employees are seldom in a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Over the last decade, my friend and I have relished our lunches together. I would meet her near her work after I retired, and when she retired, we met every couple of months at a favorite nearby restaurant (walking distance from her home).
She moved out of state a year ago, returning for doctor's appointments and for our ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I had a friend and her boyfriend visit for a few days. It was very strange.
I thought they were coming to visit my husband and me, so we cleared our schedules and planned activities for each of the five days. But when they arrived, they spent most of their time in the guest room with the door closed, watching TV. They ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I went to the drugstore to pick up my prescriptions. There were five people in line at the pharmacy. When I finally got to the counter, a young woman came up behind me and announced to the clerk that she was there for her vaccination and asked where she should go.
The clerk stopped waiting on me and turned to the pharmacist ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: In the middle of a business transaction, I'm often asked, "So, what do you have planned for the rest of your day?"
I have no interest in telling strangers what I'm doing the rest of the day, nor in extending a business transaction any longer than necessary. I prefer to share my personal activities with only my closest friends...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My new husband and I are celebrating our marriage with a small reception for close friends. For affordability at a very nice (and very expensive) venue, we agreed to limit the guest list to local friends we both know.
One of my local friends, who received an invitation, presumed that one of my long-distance friends had also ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A close friend has been living with his girlfriend for a few years, and they have a 1-year-old child. After multiple comments that he was "amazed" he hadn't paid a penny for his child, I finally realized they're receiving welfare. He makes a six-figure salary, so they do not qualify.
After much deliberation, I gently informed...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: We were out to dinner with my husband's college roommate and others. At the table, he loudly remarked to my husband, "Looks like you're really losing your hair!"
Everyone at the table was shocked by his insensitive and inappropriate comment. No one knew how to respond. He can be obnoxious and self-centered, and puts others ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: The evening news is so often about deaths and murders. I find it very offensive when, for "the story," a local reporter shoves their microphone in the face of someone whose relative just died. They'll do this to anyone who will talk, even young children.
This tactic is immoral, bordering on abusive. The people being ...Read more