Life Advice



Ring From An Ex Can Be Given Away

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Fifteen years ago, I received a ring as a birthday gift from my boyfriend at the time. He insisted on giving me a diamond cocktail ring, but I was firm on its being a gift only -- not a promise or any kind of engagement. (I didn't want to be in such a relationship since I had just left an abusive marriage.)

We broke up two ...Read more

No, Really -- No Boats For Me

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I like to travel and have been many places in the world. I am very prone to seasickness, though, so waterborne vessels rarely make an appearance in my travels. (As I write this, I am mentally reliving a one-hour turbojet ferry from Hong Kong to Macau -- gah.)

People often ask me why I don't go on cruises, but when I answer ...Read more

Guests Won't Just Sit Back And Relax

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have a vacation house, and we enjoy inviting friends and family to stay there throughout the summer and early fall. Our guests, unfailingly polite, often want to "help" after I prepare a meal, which we do often because I love to cook and the farmers markets are such a delight of abundance.

Here's the rub: ...Read more

Someone Missed The Lesson Of The 'prodigal Son' Story

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a niece, Maya, who has been estranged from the family since her teens. After five years, she's now returned, wanting to be near family. We are trying to get to know her again, as she is not the same child we knew -- pretty much a stranger.

She was a beautiful, smart young lady when she left, but now states she will ...Read more

Nosy Questions About Rings Now Go Beyond Gem Size

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm engaged and have a larger-than-average diamond. There have been several awkward encounters where people want to know the specs of my stone: In particular, they ask, "Is it a lab stone?"

I just don't feel comfortable answering this. So many people judge you negatively for whatever answer you give. If you say yes, you've ...Read more

Anxious Diners Want Their Orders Written Down

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have noticed that many restaurant servers take orders without writing them down. This includes orders with several exceptions, such as "no cheese, dressing on the side, veggies instead of fries," etc.

This tends to make my husband and me nervous. The orders usually come out just right, but nonetheless, we await our meals ...Read more

'good Eaters' Turn Picky At Nana's House

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have two amazing girls who are 4 years old and 18 months old. For the most part, they are really good eaters for me when we're at home or at restaurants.

But I have found that when we're at Nana and Papa's house, they are pickier eaters -- to the point that I have to feed them a second supper when we get home.

Should I ...Read more

How Long Do I Have To Keep Waving?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When is it OK to consider a "goodbye" finished? When does a goodbye have to be followed by waving, and for how long?

After we've said goodbye in the parking lot and the other person begins to drive away, do I have to wave again as they drive by, waving at me? Or can I turn my back and focus on getting into my own car? Some ...Read more

Oh, Good: Another Theater Rule

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Manners among theatergoers have been neglected, such that probably most offenders do not even know they are being inconsiderate.

The topics of cellphone use, texting, recording, photography, talking, eating, coughing, crackling candy wrappers and even hat wearing have all been covered. But the issue of leaning forward in one'...Read more

'bionic' Nickname Doesn't Amuse

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do I respond when people call me "the Bionic Woman"?

I have had my hips, knees and ankles replaced, and have had four back surgeries, all due to an orthopedic disease. I sometimes have braces on my hands to help me tolerate the pain.

I know they believe they are being humorous, but I feel like a freak of nature when I am...Read more

Private School Wants Neighbors' Money

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: There is a private, parochial school near where I live. The tuition is expensive, and the school has a reputation for being an elitist club.

It has come to the community's attention that this school is going to have to close unless they raise a large amount of money in a very short period of time. The local news reported that...Read more

The Curse Of Having 'one Of Those Faces'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have "one of those faces," the kind where people confuse me for someone else all the time. It's easy enough to be polite when someone thinks they saw me at karaoke last night, when I was actually home watching a movie.

But sometimes I will meet someone who insists that I am somebody else, saying things like "Your parents ...Read more

My Friends Laughed When I Told Them I Fell

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I suffered a fall at a social gathering. I got hurt pretty badly and ended up with large scrapes and bruises for over a week. I'm lucky I did not break a bone, but I was pretty shaken up.

When I later shared this news with close friends, two of them started laughing hysterically. I said that I was ultimately OK, considering ...Read more

Dramatic Changes In Appearance: Best Not To Pry

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a 63-year-old man who previously weighed considerably more than I do now. I currently appear to be very healthy, and look the best I have in at least 30 years.

When people approach me to say how fantastic I look after not having seen me in a while, the quizzing begins almost immediately: Did you diet, exercise, have ...Read more

Wife Will Never Hear The End Of Tuxedo Complaints

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I received an invitation to the wedding of a colleague's child. Every piece of correspondence noted, "This is a black-tie affair. Please dress accordingly."

My husband finally borrowed a tuxedo from a friend, but not without multitudinous complaints about how pretentious it was and how uncomfortable he was in the tuxedo that ...Read more

Guests Keep Dropping Hair On My Carpet

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Some of my (grown-up) family members will pluck loose hairs off their shoulders and clothes, then drop them onto my carpet, without even trying to hide it!

I don't say anything, but I wonder if I may ask them to put these loose hairs in the garbage can or compost container. I'm pretty grossed out by their behavior. Your ...Read more

Gratitude For Parents Will Be Expressed On Child's Schedule

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was wondering if my daughter should have sent thank-you cards to my wife and myself when she graduated from college.

My wife said she should have, but I don't feel the same way. Could you please let me know?

GENTLE READER: In the normal course of events, children take it for granted that their parents feed, clothe and ...Read more

Let's Play 'was This A Present?'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was raised right and know my forks and honorifics, but it seems some rules may have changed. I find myself frequently unsure whether something is a gift, in which case I'd simply say "thank you," or if I should offer reimbursement.

To wit: 1. A close friend's daughter was traveling to a European city in which I'd lived ...Read more

'daaaad, Stop Hitting On The Waitress!'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a 23-year-old lady with a 54-year-old father. At restaurants, he often makes comments to the waitresses, asking them if they're married or have a significant other. It terribly embarrasses me, because these questions are more creepy than he thinks.

Is there any advice you could give me to politely tell him that he's being...Read more

Inconsiderate Shopper Escalates To Rudeness

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband was at the grocery store yesterday and a woman was blocking the aisle, bending over to look at an item on the shelf. A male shopper in front of my husband asked her to please move so he could pass by, which the woman did.

My husband, a man with a noticeable paunch, approached her next, asking her to let him by. She...Read more



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