DEAR MISS MANNERS: I would like to know how to reply to others when they make negative comments about where I am traveling.
Often, I need to let people know that I will be out of town. They always want to know where I am going, but follow it up with negative comments, such as "I wouldn't go there" or "I've heard that area is not worth visiting....Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Are people oblivious, uninformed, narcissistic or just plain rude when it comes to sports etiquette? From the golf course to the gym, these outings are becoming less enjoyable.
Slow players on the golf course -- whether it's a large group, or a small group playing multiple balls per person -- won't let others play through, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a close friend who loves to dress up in crazy outfits. They are almost costumelike: very garish and tacky (to me, anyway), with sequins, feathers, fringe, loud colors, etc.
To be clear, I applaud her desire to march to the beat of her own drum. I think she should dress however she wants to, as it's really none of my ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a particular gift for a couple celebrating 27 months together?
GENTLE READER: A Gregorian calendar?
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My 10-year-old daughter has a group of four friends that she has been close with for a few years now. We all live in the same community, and the girls attend the same school and do the same ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there any polite way to encourage someone who is recounting an anecdote to you to come to the point a little faster?
I am sure we have all had the experience: "So the shopkeeper, Brian -- was it Brian? Oh, dear, what was his name? Maybe it was Bruce. No, Bob! Yes, yes, that was it. So anyway, I hand Bob my $20 when I went ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been conflicted about whether to reestablish contact with a former girlfriend from college. I'm now in my late 60s; this was way back. The relationship didn't last very long, and I regret a lot about how I handled it. (I was a jerk.)
For many years afterward, we were in sporadic touch, but we haven't seen each other ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: As someone who doesn't eat candy, I don't know how to handle holidays like Valentine's Day, Halloween and Easter, when co-workers and neighbors often give out small bags of candy.
If they're handing it out to everyone, I'll often say something like, "Thank you so much for thinking of me! I don't eat candy, though, so maybe ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A major snowstorm was due to arrive. My friend called me and offered for me to come over to her house if I had a power failure, saying she had an extra bedroom and a generator, so her home would be warm. I thanked her.
The next day, she called to remind me of her generous offer, and added that I should bring my little dog ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a writer. When I am asked about my occupation in social settings, I am always hesitant to answer. More often than not, the person is not only curious about the entire publishing process, from idea to print, but they also have a book idea they want to pitch.
For example: "I have a great idea for a book! I just need a ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it rude to call a newborn by something other than their full name, unless invited to do so by the parents?
We have given our child a four-syllable name. It is rare, but well-known from history, and it isn't complicated. So pronunciation shouldn't be an issue.
I expected the child to try out and settle on an abbreviated ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been ballroom and salsa dancing for 28 years. It is a great hobby, and it helps bridge generations. Most of the time, with respect to dance requests, I do the asking at socials, parties and clubs.
While I would like for the women I ask to say yes, it does not bother me if they say no. That is their right. I would ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am openly gay, as my family and friends have known for years. I have received an invitation from a close family member for a wedding to be held in a church that has taken public anti-gay positions.
I was offended when I saw where it would be held. This is not the couple's home church; it is a destination wedding. Clearly, ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was being waited on at a copy center. I'm 82 years old. While talking with the clerk about my order, a young 20-something blond walked up next to me and told him she was there to pick up her order. The clerk stopped waiting on me and attended to the young blond.
I was very angry and I told the clerk that I didn't appreciate...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm sorry, honey, but the dinner party is going extinct and has been for the last 50 years. Because who cares?
And do you know why? Because people have conducted an honest cost-to-benefit analysis of dusty social conventions (most of them from other centuries) and found them wanting.
GENTLE READER: Honey, nobody is forcing ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I changed my mind about moving into a local seniors' nonprofit housing group, and they have returned my down payment, as expected.
I am an LGBTQ adult, and with the exception of one gay couple, the other members all seemed to be heterosexual. After I agreed to join the group, they treated me coolly at social events. I tried ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a junior in high school, and there is a boy in one of my classes who has feelings for me. I don't feel the same way, and have told him that.
We've been sending notes back and forth for the last three weeks, and now I realize that we have nothing in common. I like K-pop and J-pop (Korean and Japanese music) and he likes ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: When you find a friend's behavior exhausting, how do you excuse yourself?
Example: I can spend all day with calm, quiet people. But my friend who bounces off the ceiling and talks constantly leaves me zapped in about 10 minutes.
I have been avoiding her altogether, but she is still poking me for a get-together. Should I ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I ride bikes with my buddies several times a week, going 30 miles or so in two hours. We don't usually stop, except for an occasional mechanical issue or water break.
One evening, we crossed paths with another biking group that included several friends I hadn't seen for a couple of years. They stopped to say hi, so I stopped,...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: If 19th-century "upper crust" Americans thought that aping British aristocracy was the height of sophistication, how is it that the American style of eating (swapping the fork from the right hand to the left, and then back again) became the American standard?
GENTLE READER: Actually, those Americans were using the style of ...Read more
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm what they call a HENRY: High Earner, Not Rich Yet. I'm a single woman in my mid-40s who works in the financial arena. I have a stable government job, a sizable 401(k) and will receive a decent pension.
I really enjoy talking about finance and money. It's not only part of my profession, but a personal passion. I've worked ...Read more