DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm in my late 20s, and an alumna of an out-of-state university. On Sundays, I sing and play an instrument at my church's Mass (which is now being streamed online for remote attendees).
One of the other church volunteers, a gentleman of around 60 years of age, noticed my alma mater's emblem on the back of my car. He is ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am not happy at all about COVID-19, but I confess that I am happy that no one has invited themselves over to my house lately.
In the past, I have had many guests who just announce that they are visiting, and no amount of hints get through to them. I do like day guests very much, but not overnight guests, as I hate to cook. ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm often in groups where the subject of stimulus checks comes up. People will interject that they have, or have not, received what they'd expected.
Due to my high income, I'm not eligible to receive anything. Since I really don't want to admit how much money I make, I try to just remain silent. However, when asked directly, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: On a grandchild's birthday, would it be inappropriate for a grandparent to post a message that talks of their late spouse and how they wanted you to know they are watching over you?
I personally feel that a child's birthday celebration is not the time to grieve the loss of your husband. Your thoughts?
GENTLE READER: That you...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My sister-in-law sent my husband $1,200 and told him to spend it on clothes and stuff for himself.
It takes me one month to earn that kind of money working 40 hours a week. For the past three months, I have been working 80 hours a week to support us. I am stressed and tired to the max, but I do it so we can be comfortable. My...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a male friend who is always bringing up people I don't know: people he works with and people from his past. The content is almost always of a problem at work or a death. I have no interest in listening to such empty chatter.
He expects me to sit and joyfully listen to news about people I don't know. Recently he got ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper way to invite people to a formal event that has been converted to a virtual one in light of the pandemic?
I find myself stuck with two simultaneous feelings: the first being that a digital invite is not appropriate for some events (such as a wedding), and the other being that sending a gilded cardstock ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've made many friends throughout the world on social media, and as we approach the upcoming national election, they have overloaded me with information criticizing the political administration of this country -- strenuously advising me on how to vote to change it.
They send me articles detailing one political situation after...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I hold different political beliefs than many of my friends and family, although I don't generally advertise them. This election cycle is causing me a considerable amount of anxiety. I stopped following social media once I realized it no longer brought me joy.
Now family members have started sending me political messages ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a middle school teacher, and although we are not beginning classes in person yet this year, I cannot stop thinking about something that always bugs me at the beginning of the school year.
Many of my students walk around campus with some type of earbuds in. It is an expectation of mine that when talking or listening, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I often enjoy margaritas on the rocks with salt on the glass rim. He has a habit of first licking the salt on the rim and then taking a swig.
I think this habit is rude, but he thinks it is no problem. I simply take a drink normally, enjoying the salt while drinking (not licking!). Is his habit socially ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: It often happens these days that I am sent an email from a friend or family member containing a claim or allegation, usually political in nature -- e.g. Candidate So-and-so is actually a lizard alien. (They are usually not quite so obvious, of course.)
Upon checking credible sources, I find that the claim is false -- aka not ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've been invited to a gender reveal party, being held virtually due to COVID-19, and I'm not sure which facial expressions to bring to the event.
The expectant parents have implied that, after two daughters, they'd like a boy. So how should I react if the balloons are released and they're expecting another girl? Do I frown ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When a person is facing someone behaving badly, your advice is invariably to politely/quietly distance yourself from that person. This is certainly excellent for avoiding a confrontation, but also does very little to actually improve the situation in the future.
As a society, we enforce good manners socially (and very rarely ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I married my beautiful wife two years ago. We are both professionals in our early 30s in the business world. She is two years older than me. About a year ago, she had an accident and now has to use a cane -- something she will probably have to do for the rest of her life. My wife also dresses very modestly, which is an ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When a woman asks a man over to dinner, is it good manners for the man to say, I am too busy to come eat, but I will take your leftovers?
I think it is really poor manners, but another lady I know says it depends on how good of friends you are. I say it is just wrong.
GENTLE READER: Unless this woman works at a drive-through...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Over the past couple of years, I've received many of what I term impersonal thanks-but-no-thanks emails from recruiters and hiring managers. Worse, sometimes I receive no response at all.
At best, I'm receiving a mass email after I've invested significant time into researching the company and the job, and have even developed ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband, a writer who teaches in a low-residency MFA program, sometimes comes into contact with well-known writers who come to his program to read.
On one occasion, he had to write the introduction for the work of the writer who was going to read. That person never said a word to him, even though he sat beside him at the ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I own and operate a successful RV park in the Midwest. We have spent eight years keeping our park spotless and well maintained. We are friendly with our customers, and help them any way we can while they are staying with us. As a result, we have hundreds of perfect reviews on dozens of sites.
People constantly ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I can't make small talk. At a gathering, if I have nothing to say, I say nothing.
If someone asks me a question, I will certainly try to answer to the best of my ability, but that's it. People will actually come up to me and ask why I don't talk, and I simply tell them I have nothing to say.
Around women, it's worse. I tend ...Read more