DEAR MISS MANNERS: My mom has succumbed to fake news. She frequently shares outlandish information with me that she is passing off as fact.
Sure enough, when I look it up, it is usually related to some sort of internet hoax or misinformation. I think she's spending way too much time on social media, and I feel concerned for her.
How can I ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: There were two people in line in front of me in the grocery store, an adolescent boy and a man I assume was his father. They were pooling change to buy a can of soup. One can of soup.
I desperately wanted to give them some money to help them out, but I didn't want to embarrass or offend them. How could I have helped without ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a friend with whom I used to have a lot in common. She has many fantastic qualities, and I quickly grew to consider her one of my best friends, despite her living a few states away. We could talk for hours on the phone every day, and we collaborated on creative projects. When we first met, she had some ailments for ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Not only am I, like so many others, having to grapple with the threat of COVID-19 contamination, but also with the increasingly vitriolic political situation that has divided my friends and family. Therefore, I've put signs over my front door that read MASKS MUST BE WORN, and NO POLITICS, as well as similar placards throughout...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A colleague of mine likes to tell jokes and will preface a punchline with Pardon my French, and then follow with something that is either obscene or offensive, ending with a boisterous laugh.
I detest this sort of boorish behavior, but any look of disdain on my behalf only leads him to take further aim at me, saying things ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How should you address the president and his wife in correspondence? Would the proper honorifics for correspondence with the current president and his wife be Mr. Joe and Dr. Jill Biden?
GENTLE READER: Perhaps you ask because of the kerfuffle about whether the title doctor should be used by doctors of philosophy. That should ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When a videoconference is scheduled for a certain time, does one arrive 10 minutes ahead of time in order to try to connect and solve any technical problems? Or does one arrive at exactly the time announced and then start solving technical problems -- and then wait while others arrive and solve THEIR technical problems?
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was in a relationship with someone, but not living together. I have a key to her place, and recently locked the door when I left after a visit, so she would not have to get out of the chair she was sitting in with her dogs. She yelled at me not to lock her door, that she could lock her own door.
Was I wrong trying to be ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My mother-in-law is a bully. For many years, I tried everything to make this relationship work. I attempted to ingratiate myself, politely stood up to her, and let the tears fall as she insulted me. According to her, it is not her fault that I am too stupid to do anything right and am so ridiculously hypersensitive -- two of ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper response to people who own lots of electronic gadgets, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, etc., and participate in every social media platform and software program, and who insist -- not in a polite way -- that I also be similarly hooked up, expose my life to the world and be available to them every ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: We just received wonderful news: Our 34-year-daughter and her husband are expecting their first child. She was born with cerebral palsy that mostly affected her legs; life hasn't always been easy for her, but she's able to get around and has lived a mostly normal life.
What really galls me is that I've told a few people my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Pre-COVID, my large family had parties all the time, since it was always someone's birthday, anniversary or other milestone. We would get together, celebrate and go home; nothing else happened.
However, I have one family member who would graciously offer to throw a party for someone in her own home, then instruct guests to ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 29-year-old daughter has unfriended my husband and me on social media, and most likely blocked our phone numbers. We haven't talked, texted or anything in over a month.
The reason is that she has a resale business where she buys furniture in other cities, then brings it back to our city and sells it for a profit. She has ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have new neighbors who seemed very nice. When the husband came over to borrow two eggs for a cake his wife was making, I had my robotic vacuum on the counter as I was cleaning it.
While I was getting the eggs, he picked up the vacuum and said, Oh, I read about these! Are they ... Just then his phone rang, and in reaching ...Read more
GENTLE READERS: That it is acceptable to be rude so long as you provide a justification for your behavior is not, Miss Manners assures you, correct. But neither is it an unusual ploy.
Take the cases of a young lady who detests carrots, a young gentleman recently converted to vegetarianism out of concern for the planet, and an older gentleman ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a relative who lives alone and who calls me every week to chat. This would be fine, except the calls are always over an hour long, and the person only talks about their own interests and doesn't really let me get a word in.
I find an hour is a long time to just sit and listen, but any polite attempts I make to end the ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I come from a large, itinerant family, consisting of my parents and eight siblings. We moved frequently as I was growing up, our possessions packed up and shipped over a dozen times, with some things arriving damaged or going missing in the process.
Money was never overly abundant, and though my mother loved to set a nice ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been married to an amazing man for over two years now. He is very supportive and devoted. Part of how he likes to show his love is by giving me gifts; sometimes these gifts might be considered excessive.
I was taught that giving is a greater virtue than receiving, and while I am very grateful for the gifts, and I'm ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter was proposed to, and has accepted. Her father, my ex-husband, became very angry and upset when he found out, because the young man did not ask his permission before proposing.
While I understand that asking the father for permission ahead of the proposal is traditional and courteous, I wonder if it was required by...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a single working father of four. I'm often given unasked-for parenting advice from female parents who often, frankly, have much less parenting experience in general, and absolutely none with my own kids.
This ranges from comments like, Children often do better in their mom's lap as I'm booking plane seats, to being the ...Read more