DEAR MISS MANNERS: We've taken care of our friends' cats when they've been away, going daily to their house. It's easy, as cats are pretty self-reliant, and we're happy to do it. We're treated to a nice dinner afterwards, and everyone's happy.
The issue is that they've just gotten a cute new puppy, and we're concerned that we'll be asked to ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a small suburb and know the local shopkeepers well -- including Jessica, the young lady who works at the pet shop. We call each other by our first names, but lately it seems to me that she is no longer a young lady, but is becoming a young man.
I don't want to call her Jessica if she no longer identifies as female. ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A cousin has blocked me on social media. It turns out that I have grievously offended her over the last 20 to 25 years.
This is the first I have heard of such complaints, and our pre-COVID family get-togethers were always cordial. I honestly don't recall doing the things that she said I did, although I admit that my memory is...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I underwent weight loss surgery -- gastric sleeve -- and can only consume about 1/3 cup of food at a time. In addition, my doctor has put me on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. Keeping my carbs low prevents me from being hungry and overeating. I've also been warned not to consume alcohol for at least a year ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What do you think about asking a stranger on the street if they could please take a photo of you, and then handing them your phone? Is that still appropriate in the age of a global pandemic?
I would hate to place a stranger in the awkward position of saying no, but I could definitely understand if someone felt uneasy about ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My brother and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum: He is on the left, and I am on the right.
Listening and trying to understand the other side did nothing for us because we so strongly disagree. After he recently invited me to refute his assertions, I told him that although I could absolutely refute each one of...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a female with a male roommate; we came up with a verbal agreement where I cook dinner every night and he does the dishes. I always take into consideration any food allergies, likes and dislikes.
One night, I made dinner as usual, and my roommate came home after I was done eating, which is normal for him. When I asked him...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am in my late 20s, and find myself the only single person in a small mixed-gender group of friends. Generally this isn't an issue. However, one man in the group started dating a young lady about a year ago and they recently became engaged. Since then, he and his intended have begun having get-togethers to which all of our ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I arrived a few minutes early for an 11:15 a.m. appointment with my podiatrist. The assistant took me to the exam room on time, asked the pre-exam questions and departed, saying, The doctor will be in soon. Again and again, I was told that it would be soon.
At 11:45, I put my footgear back on and asked if I would be out by...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have seen the rule that one does not tip the owner of a business. Why is this?
The owner of the salon is doing the exact same service for you as someone renting a booth from them. There is absolutely no logic to not tipping the owner.
My family members and I all work in the service industry, from restaurants to hospitality...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was taught that at the beginning of any phone call I make, it is polite to ask whether or not my friend is busy. I always ask, Are you busy now? or, Do you have time to talk?
However, many people who call launch directly into conversation without asking. It seemed to happen even more during the pandemic, when many of us ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Back in the olden days, when I was in a home economics class, I was told that when setting a table, the knife and spoon were placed on the left side of the plate and the forks were placed on the right.
The explanation for this was that in the semi-civilized medieval times, the knife was placed on the left because most people ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My girlfriend has done a lot for my family and me, but my family shows little enthusiasm for her. How can I get them to appreciate her more and to reciprocate what she has done? I live in fear of them attacking her or being cynical about romance itself.
She has helped me get a job, gotten me a raise, written letters to my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've been studying with a teacher, a married man, to learn about intuition and other skills for a few years. My late husband and I took an extended course from this man, and we are now working together on an online training program. He and I are close, but not romantically.
The problem is that things have been uncomfortable ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son is in a specialized field where jobs are hard to come by, but when they do, they are very profitable.
What can I say to nosy acquaintances who ask why he isn't working, and tell me he should just take any job because he has to make money? I feel they don't understand the extreme specialty of his career choice and are ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: If I tell others that I have gotten the COVID vaccine, they inevitably ask how I qualified. That's a sensitive question; I do have a qualifying condition, but many of my friends and colleagues do not know that. Others may have qualified based on their body-mass index or their age, which they might not wish to discuss.
When I ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My elderly mother always impressed upon me the importance of thank-you notes, for which I am grateful. She also has often confided her displeasure at not receiving them from various family members after gift-giving.
She has now gifted each of her children with a nice sum of money, for which I am extremely grateful. In ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in a city, and my house is closely surrounded by tall buildings. In the mornings, I often briefly go out to the fenced back garden to perform tasks such as feeding the birds or toting recyclables to the bin.
I am often not yet dressed for public presentation, but rather am wearing casual loungewear that I would never ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: More than once, I have heard the advice that it is a good idea to keep in touch with former bosses and professors in case a recommendation is needed in the future.
While I understand the reasoning for this advice, I do not understand how to execute it. How do I keep in touch with people who are not my friends without its ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a real hard time with people who give their first child up for adoption and then continue having more.
Example: My brother-in-law gave up a child for adoption, then became a very successful person: retired Marine, business owner, real estate agent, broker, pilot, and the list goes on. He's been married for 30 years and...Read more