Life Advice



Avoiding Poet-Neighbor Best Accomplished By Moving

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: An acquaintance of mine has taken to writing poetry. It's awful: full of unnecessarily obscure words, commonplace observations presented as profundities, tedious self-ruminations, etc.

I've heard enough to last me a lifetime, but whenever I encounter this individual, they announce excitedly that they've written a new poem and...Read more

Navigating The New Tipping Landscape

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was taught to tip generously, and I don't mind tipping people who provide direct services: restaurant waitstaff, bellhops, spa workers, hairstylists, nail salon workers, hotel housekeepers, etc. However, I am confused about all the tipping requests I am presented with now.

For example, if I buy a hot chocolate or tea at the...Read more

'i Didn't Want To Make A Scene,' Says Scene-Maker

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: At a restaurant, I was attempting to enjoy a meal with friends while taking in the beautiful ocean view. When I glanced to my right, I saw that the guy at the table next to us was wearing low-hanging shorts that revealed his butt. He was a young guy and appeared to be with family.

Restaurants don't seem to have dress codes or...Read more

Should I Spring A Surprise Grandkid On My Elderly Mom?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have returned to my childhood home to be with my beloved mother, whose days are numbered. What I have never told her is that she has a grandson -- I fathered a boy six years ago. She knows nothing of the child or its mother, who is not in my life anymore.

As my mother is very frail and at times confused, do you feel it ...Read more

Regifting An Obvious Regift

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend gave me a gift that had obviously been recycled, possibly more than once. When I opened it, a card fell out -- dated 1995.

The item itself was in good shape, unused, but the box was showing a little wear. Internet research revealed that this item has not been manufactured in at least 10 years.

Naturally, I thanked ...Read more

The Neighborhood Of The Traveling Painting

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a neighbor, "Mr. Griffin," who is an artist. He gave one of his paintings to his next-door neighbor. Several months later, Mr. Griffin presented me with one of his paintings, which I hung in my family room.

The lady next door to Mr. Griffin stopped to visit me one day and saw the painting on my wall. Imagine my shock ...Read more

One Belated 'thank-You' To Rule Them All

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a terrible procrastinator. I have procrastinated sending thank-you letters for multiple years for multiple events (our wedding, my baby shower, our child's birthday parties). The worst offense is our wedding, five years ago.

Is it ever too late to send a thank-you letter? Could I send a single thank-you now, for the gifts...Read more

No One Wants To Hear Your Dna Test Results, Frank

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Lately at social events, I often find myself trapped by people who want to share, in excruciating detail, their genetic test results.

Each person finds their own results deeply compelling, marveling at length over being 3% this and 15% that, with stunning reveals like, "I thought I we were Welsh, but it turns out we're ...Read more

Parking Hog Hides Behind Hoa Status

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a large condo complex where all the parking spots have been auctioned off. Guests are expected to park on the street (where there are plenty of spots but issues with break-ins).

My neighbor in the spot to my right has one parking spot, three cars and always has guests over. I can expect a text once a month from her ...Read more

Bossy 5-Year-Old Drove Grandpa Out Of The House

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Our granddaughter, who is 5 years old, came up to her grandfather, who was seated at the dinner table, and told him, "Get up! You can't sit there! That's my chair!"

Our son and DIL were witnesses. I came into the room, found my husband standing at the breakfast bar, holding his plate and eating his dinner. I said, "For heaven...Read more

Grocery's Express Lane Is No Place For The Faint Of Heart

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a mom of four teenagers, and so am at the grocery store quite frequently. The hardworking employees who try to balance the number of people in line often ask me to go to the express line even if I have a few too many items.

I have had to start telling them no, I will not, because so many people have been openly nasty to ...Read more

Digital Restaurant Bill Makes It Hard To Check For Errors

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When dining out, it seems that the latest way for the server to take the order and present the bill is via an electronic tablet. I'm fine with the ordering part, but not with the billing.

First, in many cases, the server comes to your table and simply gives you an amount that you owe, and then stands there and waits for the ...Read more

'scuse Me While I Make A Call During Our Holiday Dinner

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Because of COVID, we had not been having our regular family and friends Seder. We were happy to restart the occasion and had a rather large gathering.

During the Seder, one of the family began an online call at the table with a missing relative who was invited but declined, as they lived out of state. This call lasted 10 to ...Read more

April Fools' Birthday Is No Joke When It's Yours

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Through no one's fault, I was born on the worst date ever.

Each birth anniversary, there's a well-meaning but hurtful practical joke. Everyone -- family, friends, teachers, co-workers, boyfriends -- thinks they're the first person to play their joke and expects me to laugh. Because I love them, I try to play along, but it ...Read more

Trivia Night Not Trivial To Wife

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Last night, my wife and I participated in a trivia night event at a local establishment. It was our first time there, and neither of us cared about winning the competition. We were really there to support the host, our daughter's boyfriend.

It was a small event, with five teams of two to three people per team. My wife and I ...Read more

They Want A Sidekick, Not A Co-Star

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: It would seem my soft-spoken and polite nature attracts big personalities with a desperate need for a sidekick. I can play the background character well, out of mannerly consideration for what seems to be a desire for affirmation.

Lately, however, I'm a bit exasperated with all this nonsense. Why shouldn't a fairly attractive...Read more

Dinner Guest Stays On Phone All Evening

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I had a formal sit-down dinner for eight guests at my home. One guest was on her phone nearly the whole time -- texting and even watching live videos that her friends posted while others were trying to have a conversation.

She was away from the group, but the sounds were still audible. She arrived late and stayed by herself, ...Read more

Telemarketers Don't Really Care How You're Doing

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I receive a lot of unwanted telephone calls from telemarketers and real estate buyers who are seeking to buy my house. Many of these callers start out by asking for me by name and then inquiring how I am doing.

Every once in a while, one of these callers turns out to be a recruiter instead of a telemarketer, so I wish to ...Read more

Should I Attend A Ceremony That I Can't Fully Hear?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have nine beautiful grandchildren, and beginning this year, I will attend high school graduations for the next several consecutive years. My issue is that I am so hard of hearing that I cannot understand the speakers at these ceremonies.

For me, it is as though the speeches are in a foreign language. I applaud when others ...Read more

No, Total Stranger, The Flowers Aren't For You

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: About once a month or so, when I attend a social function, I bring a gift or floral bouquet to the host. Often this involves carrying the gift or flowers on foot through a public area on the way to the gathering -- for example, along the sidewalk, if I park a block or two away from the host's home, or through the lobby of a ...Read more



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