Life Advice



With Friends Like These ...

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend of mine is getting married and I'm over the moon for her. She's been planning an extravagant overseas wedding for almost three years now.

As a really close friend of the bride, I'd anticipated being asked to be a bridesmaid. That day never came, as I watched post after post of less-close friends receiving pretty ...Read more

'gift Of The Magi' Goes To Lunch

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I took a friend out for a nice lunch to thank her for supporting me through a hard time. At the restaurant, she looked through the entire menu and picked the least expensive dish.

I encouraged her to order whatever she wanted, including any appetizers, but she seemed too shy. I was raised to spend less than the person ...Read more

Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Or At Least Ignored

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Following a snowstorm, I went to clean off my car in its space in a reserved lot. An older woman who parks in the adjacent space was doing the same. As I was shoveling out my space, she was knocking snow off her car and letting it pile on the ground.

I understand that older people face physical challenges, as I am in my mid-...Read more

Hard To Believe: Yacht Club Members Acting Like Snobs

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband's old boss and his wife invited us to join a local yacht club. Ever since we joined, the wife has been bubbling with snippy comments about my grooming and hairstyle, alluding to where I may have purchased my clothing, and making numerous misguided class-oriented statements.

She seems to have brought me into the ...Read more

Guest Doesn't Deserve The Good China -- And Doesn't Get It

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A boy I knew in college, but was not close friends with, recently moved to my city, and we decided to meet to reconnect. He brought pastries and I served tea on my patio.

When I brought out my blue tea set, he made some off-putting remark about the situation not requiring me to "break out my best china." The tone of it was ...Read more

Older Grad Student Faces Condescending Attitudes

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I just began a full-time grad program that is small, demanding -- and excellent. I am 73 and my cohorts are in their 30s, and I haven't noticed any particular gap in our views nor any alienation from the others. I am just absorbed in the reading, writing and discussions, like we all are.

My concern centers on others' ...Read more

Would-Be Guests Don't Respond, Expect Event To Be Canceled

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When issuing both formal invitations, such as to a wedding or dinner, as well as informal invitations, such as asking a friend to attend a movie together on the weekend, often a response is not received despite an RSVP date being clear.

When I haven't received a reply well past such a date, sometimes even sending a polite ...Read more

Friends Keep Drinking All My Special Wine

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In my group of friends, it is common that one friend will offer to host a gathering and handle all of the food. All they ask is that people bring what they want to drink.

I am not a big drinker, but I do enjoy it at these events, and I am rather picky about what I drink. So, bringing my own bottle of wine -- one that I know I...Read more

My Friend Dared To Make Other Friends

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: As a paid member of a tennis center, I was able to bring a nonmember friend to play at an event. At that occasion, she met other members, who invited her to return in the future and play as their guest.

I do not know these other people, nor do they know me, but apparently they are all continuing to play -- without me. That ...Read more

When 'you' Means 'your Company'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I'm talking to someone who represents a company, I sometimes say something like, "This is the fourth time I have called you."

The representative nearly always replies with, "I'm not the person you talked to last time. I didn't know about this issue before."

Sometimes I then say, "The word 'you' can be used as a plural; ...Read more

'where Am I Traveling? Away From This Conversation'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

No Manners On The Golf Course These Days

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Text Reactions Useful When You Can't Find The Right Words

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Weird Anniversary Deserves Weird Gift

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Keep The Story Moving, Please

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

It's Been 50 Years -- Let Your College Girlfriend Go

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

What Do I Do With All This Valentine's Candy?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Snowstorm Brings Mixed Messages From Friend

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Writer Tired Of Answering Questions About Industry

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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

Sorry, People Will Abbreviate Your Baby's Four-Syllable Name

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

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



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