Life Advice



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

Decoding A Job Application Response

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I received an email regarding a job I applied for. It was sent from an email address with one name attached to it, and was signed p.p. followed by two other names, separated by a slash:

Sent: Last Name 1, First Name 1, email address

Dear Ms. My Last Name,


p.p. First Name 2 Last Name 2 / First Name 3 Last Name 3

To...Read more

Etiquette On Declining Online Dates

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, the number of social events where one may meet a prospective mate has significantly diminished. Because of that, online dating has lately become one of my primary ways of meeting people.

Historically, as a guy, I would look at the photos/profiles of particular females that I would...Read more

People At Home Acting As If They're At Home

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am on the worship committee for my church, and we've had online Zoom services since March.

I often notice that during the service, people are eating, texting, getting up and down from their seats, talking to others and doing other varied activities that are suited to a living room but NOT A CHURCH SERVICE.

I find this rude...Read more

Comparison Remains The Thief Of Joy

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: All I see on social media lately are photos of awesomeness: beautiful meals, precocious kids, exciting outdoorsy vacations with ecstatic partners. It depresses me. Though I'm very fortunate in a lot of ways, I'm lonely. I live alone and haven't socialized in person since March. Many more people, of course, are in much more ...Read more

Neighbors Running Basketball Camp Next Door

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: About a year ago, we bought a home on a quiet cul-de-sac in a nice neighborhood. We noticed that the next-door neighbor's backyard had a concrete half basketball court, but every time we came to the house for showings, inspections, etc., no one was ever playing basketball.

We figured it wouldn't be a problem. That was our ...Read more

Flowers, Except Red Roses, Are For Everyone

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: As a female, is it inappropriate for me to give gifts of flowers to other females, or to males? What about potted plants, on occasions when I go over to someone's house? Could I give a potted plant to a male as a gift, and should I casually mention that I won't hold it against him if the plant doesn't survive?

Do the same ...Read more

Handyman Can't Do It All -- At Least Not Well

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: We have a handyman, George, whom we have used for several years. He was originally recommended to us by a close friend, and a small group of us keep him pretty busy.

My husband and I have come to rely on George as a reliable and trustworthy helper, as we have aged out of doing many tasks ourselves, and we pay him generously. ...Read more

Cousin's Lack Of Immediate Disclosure Rankles

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My cousin omitted to tell me that her husband tested positive for COVID while he was abroad.

We have been talking quite often during this time, and when she expressed her fears regarding the virus, I assured her that any person can take some basic steps to prevent contamination.

She had mentioned that some of his colleagues ...Read more

Friend Of 20 Years Forgot My Birthday -- Again

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: For the second year in a row, my friend forgot my birthday. Over 20 years ago, when we first became friends, she started the tradition of giving me an inexpensive token gift to mark my birthday. The emphasis was always on the thought rather than the expense. Each year, I responded similarly on her birthday, which is several ...Read more

Relatives Need To Know If Thanksgiving Is Canceled

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have hosted a Thanksgiving party for family (around 30 people) every year for the past 12 years, always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Although we still send out invitations for the event, everyone has come to expect to spend that day at our home.

Some of the younger relatives even travel from both ...Read more



Jeff Koterba Cathy Marshall Ramsey Scott Stantis John Cole The Other Coast