DEAR MISS MANNERS: I will be getting married later this year (assuming it's safe to do so, given COVID). I have some relatives in my grandparents' home country I would love to include. We rarely see each other, and there is a language barrier, but we have warm feelings and shared history.
However, they are rural farmers, and while they do well ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been married to my husband for 35 years, and his siblings treat our home with no respect.
We live in a modest home, by our own choice: There are just the two of us, no children, and we believe in leaving a smaller footprint. We could afford a home three times larger, but plan to stay and be as environmentally conscious...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: During the pandemic, I have encountered serious health, financial and legal troubles. I have always been there for family and friends, but when I needed their emotional support, most of them abandoned me.
I now know who my family and friends really are. As restrictions are lifted, I will see them at various events. I want to ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a very close friend group of six people. Four of us have been friends for 30 years, the other two for about 10 years. I was close with Friend Five separately for 20 years, and introduced her to the group because I knew she would fit in. Another member introduced Friend Six.
For a long time, things were great! Outsiders...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was recently reminded of a situation in which I acted badly. Due to COVID restrictions, this is not a scenario likely to come up again soon, but I am hoping you can tell me what the mannerly approach would have been, so I can do better in the future.
Last year, I was invited to a cookie decorating party. My job is to work ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I redid my kitchen (well, had it redone). It took a long time to happen, and it was worth the wait.
I was excited when it was finished and wanted to show it off, naturally, to a woman I thought was a friend. But she never came to see it, never asked me about it, asked how I like it, etc.
She lives in the same town and we ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for more than 12 years now, engaged for most of that time. We live together, and throughout our entire relationship, have spent time with friends together.
There is one friend we've spent many weekends with -- celebrated graduations, birthdays, had him over for meals, etc. He...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a 22-year-old college student. To avoid having student loans, I work hard and don't have a lot of funds left over after paying for tuition. Thus, my wardrobe is not exactly high-end. My clothes are always clean and neat, but admittedly my winter coat is showing a lot of wear and tear.
At the beginning of a recent class, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been requested to serve as witness to my gay BFF's online wedding, which I gleefully accepted. However, I am slightly stressed out about how I should physically present myself on the videoconference.
I asked the groom if I should bathe, doll myself up and wear proper wedding attire for this event, in accordance with ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What are the responsibilities of a bridesmaid?
My wedding was several years ago, but one of my bridesmaids recently contacted me because someone told her that a bridesmaid is supposed to pay for her own dress. At the time of my wedding, I thought it felt odd to ask someone to pay for a dress of my choosing, so I didn't say ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am to meet with representatives of a company to discuss our hiring them for a project. While reviewing their website, I discovered three typos.
I honestly believe they would want to know of these errors, and frankly, as when you notice food in someone's teeth, I have a strong urge to tell them. But I fear that mentioning it...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a condominium association of 241 homes that is governed by a board of owners. I am running for election to the board, having served previously as an officer.
When I sent a campaign email to the owners, I received a reply from a former board member. (He ran for reelection and lost, and is not a candidate now.) He ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are both recovering from the coronavirus. At the beginning of a video call with another couple over the weekend, I asked them, How are you keeping?
And the answer came back, We are keeping a lot better than you, by the sound of it.
It certainly felt like a put-down. I let it pass because it probably would ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A gentleman I know only because he's married to an old high school classmate has written and self-published a rather long novel on a topic I know and care nothing about. In a recent online get-together with his wife and some of our other high school chums, he asked if he could pitch his book to us, then proceeded to describe ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: In connection with a question about butter pats, a letter writer stated, I know that dinner rolls and butter are not traditionally part of a formal dinner service. You didn't comment about that, but let it stand.
Is that true?
Please define a formal dinner for us. Is it when diners dress in cocktail dresses and evening gowns...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I attended a meeting at work where a co-worker had a very embarrassing moment. I thought her recovery was remarkable, so I wrote an email about the incident to a friend:
Melissa farted during the presentation to the exec committee. Yikes! And of course this would happen in front of the whole team in the first-floor conference...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am thankful for this past year's reprieve from family travel expectations. As an introvert, I dread those expectations coming back -- especially when my husband's mother is such a force of nature.
How is one to deal with a host who rushes her visitors from place to place, exhausting them? I wish for home immediately!
I ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a slightly built young woman, and I often become terrified when confronted by (what appear to me to be) aggressive and rude older men.
Such men have confronted me twice about supposed infractions like jumping a line, which I've never done. In the first instance, the man's daughter jumped to my defense. However, in the ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I was in line at the post office, a woman stood directly behind me instead of on the plainly marked circle 6 feet away. I asked her politely to move back to the marker -- not once, but twice.
I was furious when she did not move back. She was less than 12 inches away from me. What else could I have done without causing a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My classical guitar society meets online now, which is nice because we now have people involved who live around the world.
It's not so nice, however, when one of our participants performs from his bedroom, where we get to see his unmade bed, the dresser drawers partially open, and this week, a pair of used underwear.
I know ...Read more