Life Advice



Rejecting Hand-Me-Downs Doesn't Mean Rejecting The Friend

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Last year I started an annual, seasonal job that I will be returning to soon. I got on especially well with my desk neighbor, as we have a lot in common. For example, we are both highly sensitive to fragrances and things like shirt tags and sock seams. We also share a propensity for saving items that most people would discard,...Read more

Responding To Rude Questions About Vaccine Eligibility

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've just completed my second vaccination shot for COVID-19 and, though I feel lucky and relieved, I've dealt with much resentment from others who have not been able to receive their shots yet.

I've been asked such questions as, Who did you have to bribe? or What makes you so special? and the like, all of which have been ...Read more

Cleaning Up After Adult Son And His Girlfriend

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am happy that our 21-year-old son still lives with us. He is our only child, and his father and I are not eager to be empty-nesters at this point. We enjoy his company.

He is an extremely hard worker, putting in long hours running a division of the family business, and he leaves for work around 4:30 a.m. As his neatnik ...Read more

Graduates Can Celebrate Without Their Parents' Friends

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I keep receiving high school -- and even college! -- graduation invitations from the parents instead of the graduate. I always thought they should come from the graduate. What do you say?

GENTLE READER: That new graduates ought to be able to have their own parties with their classmates and friends without being shown off to ...Read more

Will We Go Back To All Casual, All The Time?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

GENTLE READERS: Not for the first time, Miss Manners is confused by the fashion news. There are pronouncements that after having lived so long in leisure clothes, people will never return to structured clothing. And there are counter-pronouncements that after slopping around in sweat clothes for so long, people will be eager to dress up.

Let us...Read more

Boundaries Needed For After-Hours Texts

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a boss who is a texter. At any time, I may get a text from him with a request or a correction of my work. I've gotten texts on picnic dates, while shopping and at the dentist, for starters.

I am hourly, not salaried. I have brought up the need for boundaries repeatedly, but not directly to my boss -- the owner of the ...Read more

It's More Than Ok To Ask About Safety Protocols

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it inappropriate to ask those taking care of you -- like a dental hygienist, dentist or manicurist, e.g. -- if they have been vaccinated for the virus, or if they have been recently tested?

I had a tooth pulled recently, and began to wonder, due to their very close proximity to my open mouth, if it would be offensive to ...Read more

If He Couldn't Pay For Dinner, He Shouldn't Have Offered

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In my close circle of friends and family, I am the individual with the highest income. I have no issue paying when a small group of us go out to dinner. My friends do not take advantage of my generosity.

But now I've had an awkward dining experience: The person I went to dinner with offered to pay, I accepted, and it became ...Read more

Inviting Overseas Relatives To Wedding They Can't Attend

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Sloppy In-Laws Aren't Going To Change After 35 Years

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Everyone's Been A Mess Lately; Don't Take It Personally

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Affair Disrupts Longtime Friend Group

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Just Say 'i Can't Make It' And Leave It At That

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

My So-Called Friend Doesn't Want To See My New Kitchen!

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Longtime Fiancee Excluded On Invitation

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Classmates' Presumptuous Gift Embarrasses Recipient

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Dirty T-Shirt Ok For Online Wedding?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Bridesmaids' Duties Keep Expanding

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Tell Potential Partner Company About Website Errors

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Rude Email: Better To Respond Or Ignore?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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



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