Life Advice



Post-Show Small Talk Awkward For Critic

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a theater professional. My job involves giving honest (but hopefully never brutal) critiques of actors during the rehearsal process. My reputation for results and professionalism is very valuable to me -- monetarily, professionally and personally.

Even though I try to avoid it, I am frequently introduced to an actor's ...Read more

Tactfully 'breaking Up' With Friends

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have always made friends easily, even throughout moving several times for my husband's career. I'm so thankful for that. Some have become lifelong friends, and some were just close during similar ages/stages of raising our children. This is all fine and expected in life!

But what about the friends I just don't enjoy ...Read more

Grandparent Feels More Like Ride-Share Driver

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there ever a polite way to teach other people's kids to be a little more mannerly or considerate?

For years, I have been driving my grandson's carpool once or twice a week. The three involved are good kids, and I have no problem providing this much-needed service. I know how hard it is for parents who work full-time to ...Read more

Sleepy Surgeon Spoils Symphony For Seatmate

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a surgeon who loves the symphony. Unfortunately, I work long hours, and sometimes show up at a performance after working 32 hours straight.

I recently went to the symphony ... and kept falling asleep. At intermission, the woman next to me said, "How dare you come to the symphony and just fall asleep! That is so rude!"

...Read more

My Beer Needs To Breathe, Brenda

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I were at an informal outdoor party for a child's birthday. Right when we arrived, the hosts offered cold bottles of good beer.

If I'm drinking good beer, I like to let it breathe in a glass or even a plastic cup. I accepted a beer from the host, and then -- thinking there might be cups available that I just didn'...Read more

First Rule Of Parenting: Don't Mess With Naptime

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend of ours hosted a brunch for several new parents. The brunch was on a hot summer day and held squarely in the middle of morning nap time.

When the five other couples arrived, we found out that the host's baby was still asleep, and we had to sit around for 20 minutes (with hot babies in tow) waiting for the host's baby...Read more

I Wish My Co-Workers Would Knock

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work in an office with around 30 people. There are several bathrooms available to the staff, and I have used all of them at one time or another.

When I am occupying any of them, I've noticed people never knock before trying to open the door. They will grab the handle and pull several times before they walk away. It is easy ...Read more

How Am I Going To Meet My Next Ex-Wife Working From Home?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: You've always advised against mixing social life with work, although I'm not sure why. And now I read that the generation entering the workforce agrees with you, and is not particularly interested in having work friends.

Hey, I miss my office friends now that we're working from home! Work was also where I met women. I met my ...Read more

Please Stop Policing Your Fellow Shoppers

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why do people insist on judging other people without knowing them?

I have health problems and cannot drive. Sometimes when I arrive at a store, public transit has taken an unexpectedly long time to get me there -- a bus breakdown, missed transfer, etc. When this happens, I often need to eat something immediately. I have been ...Read more

You Didn't 'mean' To Steal The Covers, But I'm Still Cold

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Should a person apologize if they are unaware they did anything wrong? While staying with a friend, my husband stole the covers all night long. When I told him what he'd done the next morning, he said tersely, "I didn't know," but didn't apologize.

When I said I'd apologize if the situation were reversed, he said he didn't ...Read more

Daughter's Boyfriend's Manners Are ... Not Great!

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I were raised not to put more food on our plates than we would eat, and to stay seated during a meal unless we asked to be excused. Our adult daughter's boyfriend was apparently taught differently.

He fills his plate to overflowing, though he is very picky and never finishes his food, and actually takes extra ...Read more

Hostess Does The Most-Est And Wants Guests To Notice

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: There is a wonderful hostess in my neighborhood who really goes all out in terms of food and ambiance for her guests. She is a mentor to me, inspiring me to host gatherings and reciprocate hospitality.

There is one habit of hers that makes me pause: She tends to announce, to all her guests, just how time-consuming and ...Read more

Bring Back The 'stork' Explanation

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: After several years of dealing with infertility and undergoing various treatments, my husband and I are expecting our first child.

Since many of our family and friends were aware of our struggles to get pregnant, I have received a few invasive questions that I'd prefer to not answer: "So, did you guys do IVF? Donor embryos?" ...Read more

Newly Widowed Exes Want To Reunite

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was wondering what the appropriate mourning period would be for ex-college sweethearts who are now in their 80s.

The man's wife died a few weeks ago after a four-year battle with dementia. During that time, his widowed neighbor and former fiancee (from over 40 years ago) supported the couple with frequent meals and visits. ...Read more

'come To Our Party! But Don't Set Foot In Our House'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are having an outdoor cocktail party. Since it is outdoors, would it be acceptable to have people enter through our yard gate instead of going through the house, then into the yard?

We will have people welcome guests as they walk up to the house and show them where to go. We will be using our guest house's ...Read more

Relative Keeps Giving Insulting Gifts

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a family member with whom I have a challenging relationship. I go out of my way to be civil and polite, but also to keep my distance. (Avoiding her completely would mean declining all family gatherings.)

She singles me out for catty behavior, and is outrageous, but not insulting, to others. This dynamic has been going ...Read more

Please Pass The Rolls -- And Keep Holding Them

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Can you please advise me on the proper way for individuals to serve themselves when passing dishes at a family-style dinner?

My mother emphasized that when one says, "Please pass the rolls," and the breadbasket is passed around the table, the requester should accept the breadbasket in their hands with polite thanks and then ...Read more

Well-Meaning Busybodies Share My Medical Info

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have celiac disease. I don't parade that information around, but I'm not trying to hide it, either. When someone offers me something that I cannot eat, I just decline by saying, "No, thank you," and often the situation is taken care of.

However, something keeps happening to me and I'm unsure how to handle it. Someone around...Read more

It's Just A Name Tag, People

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: At my husband's 20-year reunion, I wrote "Sam's wife" on my name tag. I knew that only three people there knew me, and that no one else would likely remember my name the following week -- they'd all refer to me as "Sam's wife." So I went with that.

It was fun. Most people reacted well, and some even laughed and said, "You're ...Read more

The Topics Themselves Were Never The Problem

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What are the three main subjects you should not discuss socially?

GENTLE READER: Only three? You must be joking.

The old rule was that politics, sex and religion should not be discussed in casual conversation among people whose sensitivities and opinions were unknown to one another. The rationale was to avoid offending ...Read more



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