DEAR MISS MANNERS: It appears that servers at casual-dining establishments are not trained to remove trash from tables. Every time I dine at one, my companions and I are soon faced with a pile of trash on the table and no place to put it: paper straw wrappers, creamer cups, used sugar packets and the sticky papers that are used in place of ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was raised, I was taught that the person who issued the invitation was the person who paid the bill. When I was dating, if I asked a young lady out for a movie or a meal, I expected to pay. Since being married, if my wife and I ask a friend or another couple out to a show or a meal, we pay for the tickets or the food.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: There are two ways people start a statement that I find extremely infuriating. They are: "No offense, but ..." and "I'm sorry, but ..."
These are invariably followed by something sexist, ageist or racist, or by repeating what the other person just said, then saying why that person is wrong and doesn't know what they are ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: There is a saying that is very common nowadays, and it bothers me. When I go to the bank, the post office or the grocery store and finish my transaction, the employee will often say, "Have a good one!"
What does that even mean? Have a good what? Do I get to remove the word "one" and fill it in myself with "day," "night," "...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I fly, I choose the aisle seat because I don't want to feel "hemmed in," as I do in the window and middle seats. But inevitably, the person in the window seat in my row puts the shade down so they can sleep. This makes me feel a little claustrophobic.
I have learned to grin and bear it, but it is annoying and feels rude....Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a proper reaction to people who brutally insult or criticize you, but immediately follow it up with "just kidding"?
My wife's sister uses the phrase constantly. On a recent visit, she disapproved of the meal, noted my recent 10-pound weight gain and disliked our new sofa -- she wasn't asked for her opinion on any of ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I don't understand when someone asks, "Are you busy tomorrow?" or "What are you doing Friday?" If you say "no" or "nothing," it's like you're automatically free to do them a favor. I find this very rude.
If I want to ask for something, I always say, "Are you busy tomorrow? Because I need a ride to the doctor" or whatever.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why has it become socially acceptable for online funding campaigns to be made for everyone and everything? Social media is flooded with them, each one asking for thousands of dollars, and it feels excessive.
Am I missing something, that this has become acceptable? Or is it the guilt of people who feel the need to make a page ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was shopping at a local grocery store, looking for Italian breadcrumbs. Searching the aisles, I couldn't find them. I came upon a lady also obviously looking for something, and I innocently asked her if she'd seen the breadcrumbs.
Her response floored me. She said, "Why -- because I'm a woman?"
My response was, "No, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I invited a new co-worker and his wife over for dinner and didn't ask them to bring anything.
I was a little surprised when they brought their own pre-dinner drinks -- two bottles of an imported craft beer for him, plus two cans of tonic and a water bottle containing 4 ounces of artisan gin for her.
She even brought her own ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work at a convenience store near my home. I see the store's regulars every day, and of course we become friendly. Some I like more than others.
Occasionally, a customer will ask me for my phone number, claiming we should get together. This request comes from both male and female customers, some interested in friendship and ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: At an event where almost everyone is seated, am I rude for asking someone standing in front of me to sit down? Or is that person more rude?
I realize that there are several scenarios where it's tough cookies for me if I decide to sit, such as a stadium rock concert or a pep rally. That, I get.
What I don't get is people who ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a woman who works in a male-dominated industry, where I have earned a leadership role. I regularly attend industry events where spouses are included, and I love meeting my co-workers' spouses.
However, I am frequently asked who in the room I am married to, or whether I am married to my (male) boss. Sometimes other people...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was growing up, I was taught that under no circumstances did one point a blade, or any other sharp object, at another person. When handing a knife or a pair of scissors to someone else, one handed the article with the handle toward the recipient and the blade tip pointed toward oneself. Similarly, when setting the table...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Lately, people have been saying to me, "It is not my story to tell" when I ask about the welfare of friends who might be having problems, or after I find out something devastating about a friend I care deeply about.
For example, I found out a friend's brother had died. When I asked why no one had told me, I was told, "It's ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a reputation for being a good listener and having a good shoulder to cry on. I am happy to listen to my friends' troubles and offer encouragement when needed.
But there are times when my personal medical issues take all of my time and energy to deal with, and the troubles of others would exhaust my emotional resources....Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I graduated with my Ph.D. two years ago. My friends have been asking me nonstop to come for a visit. However, every time I visit, they just want to go bar-hopping, something I am not a fan of.
Now they are saying if I come visit, they will do something I want, as long as there is a low risk of getting sick, injured or killed....Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a dear friend who suffered a stroke as a teenager, which left her with weakness on one side of her body. She is now in her 40s and has a wonderful husband and a lovely daughter. She is an avid volunteer and artist.
While she was out in public with me recently, a woman approached my friend and asked if she could lay ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I received the most beautiful earrings from a new boyfriend for my birthday. When I opened the box to wear them, there was a price tag hidden in the jewelry box itself. I am sure he did not see it to remove it.
The jewelry was significantly more expensive than I had expected. There is a little guilt now, knowing the price and...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When is it acceptable to ask for a different table when being seated at a restaurant?
My husband and I have a favorite restaurant, which does not take reservations. In the past month, we have been seated once by the restrooms and once by the kitchen.
The second time, I politely asked the hostess if we could have another ...Read more