Life Advice

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The Ongoing Honorific Debate

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do you address a formal invitation to a married lesbian couple who have the same last name? For example: Lisa Jones and Maggie Jones. Do you write Mrs. and Mrs. Jones? Or Mss. (plural of Ms.) Jones? Or Ms. Lisa Jones and Ms. Maggie Jones?

GENTLE READER: Having lost the grammatical battle of "they/them" -- she is entirely ...Read more

Third Baby Shower Feels Excessive

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was always under the belief that your first baby shower should also be your only one. But I have now been invited to a third baby shower for my niece, whose oldest child is still very young.

I could understand if there was some space between the kids, since new equipment would be needed, or if this third baby was a ...Read more

Rich 'Best Friend' Demands Money, Won't Pay It Back

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a best friend of 27 years, and I'm getting very annoyed with her. Every time I invite her to dinner or to an event, she expects me to pay for everything. She has gone as far as asking me for a loan, for groceries, etc.

Being the nice person I am, I will loan her the money and buy her groceries, if I am able. The ...Read more

Who Needs A Doctor When You Have In-Laws?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a recently married young woman who suffers from an inflammatory bowel disease. Because of my disease, I take medication prescribed by my doctor, and I do my best to eat a healthy diet. Lately, I have started following a vegetarian diet.

My mother-in-law brings up my disease in conversation whenever we see each other, and...Read more

Burned-Out Lightbulb Not The Only Problem At This Table

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In the midst of a special Thanksgiving dinner last year, one of the other guests stopped conversation cold by asking our hostess if she realized that one of the bulbs in her antique French porcelain chandelier was burned out.

I was sitting too far from the guest to kick her under the table, and our hostess could not see the ...Read more

Break The Ice, But Don't Overshare

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: This Thanksgiving, I'm having a couple of friends over -- the same ones I had over last Thanksgiving. However, this year I'm inviting a third, who has never met the other two. I thought it would be polite for me to tell each of them something about the other so that they might be a little more comfortable together before they ...Read more

Creepy Neighbor Watches Me Work In My Yard

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I moved into a house about three years ago. Late one evening, a male neighbor came over and cut my grass. Not expecting this, I gave him what little cash I had on hand, plus some refreshments. A few weeks later, I took a selection of holiday treats to his wife.

Afterwards, the man began to come outside every time I worked in ...Read more

Graphic, Public Letter About Bathroom Privacy Kills Irony

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My place of work has recently relocated into a different building, and the ladies' restroom is not a "single user" like we had at our previous location. There are two toilet stalls next to each other, which means that one can no longer do their business in assured privacy.

The other day, I walked into the restroom just as a ...Read more

You're Better Off Without These Cleaners

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I had housecleaners come to assess my needs and quote the cost of services. I asked that they wear masks in my home to protect against the spread of disease.

When they arrived, one of them had a mask on. The other put one on, but without covering his nose. I reminded him by saying, "Sir, it looks like your mask slipped."

He ...Read more

Smelly Surprise Awaited Returning Homeowner

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I hosted overnight guests prior to us all leaving the next morning on a five-day trip. Prior to leaving, I emptied the kitchen trash can and put the bag in the large bin in my garage. I was very particular as to what I threw away so that my garbage can would not smell upon my return.

Unbeknownst to me, my guest put adult ...Read more

Substitute Teacher Ignored, Disrespected By Other Staff

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work as a substitute teacher for an excellent local school system. I enjoy the assignments, for the most part, and like knowing that I'm contributing to public education. Schools can't function without substitutes.

It's not my primary source of income by a long shot, so I can choose where and if I want to work. I'm reliable...Read more

My MIL Doesn't Want Me To Go Gray

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My mother-in-law, in her 80s, has been dyeing her hair increasingly bright colors since the day she noticed her first gray strand. Frankly, I think she looks ridiculous, but she thinks she is the sexiest thing walking the face of the Earth, and of course I would never tell her otherwise.

She is happy. It is none of my ...Read more

Wannabe Influencer Keeps Stealing My Posts

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am not an influencer. I use one social media platform to post about current events and humorous experiences, using it as a way to stay connected with far-flung friends and family.

An acquaintance aspires to be not just an influencer, but a thought leader. Indeed, she employs consultants who assist her in her multi-platform ...Read more

Next Time, Bring Your Own Changing Table, I Guess

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR Miss MANNERS: My friend and I both have babies. When I was at her house and needed to change my baby's diaper, I asked if I could use her baby's changing table. She seemed a little surprised, but said yes.

I used my own diapers and wipes, and made sure to leave the area very clean. When I got home, I began to worry that asking to use ...Read more

My Husband Lets My MIL Think I'm A Slacker!

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have been married for 17 years, and my mother-in-law does not like me. She never really has, and I never knew why.

She lives far away and visits once or twice a year. My husband talks to her on the phone every day. I often hear him say things like, "Hey, Mom, I have to get off the phone so I can go cook ...Read more

Family Of Choice Will Occasionally Require Explanation

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Several decades ago, I became friendly with a family who lived nearby. Over time, that family has become my "family of choice" -- that is, people to whom I am as close as my family of origin, if not closer.

When I talk about members of my family of choice with others, I do not make a distinction between the two groups: I talk...Read more

Food Intolerances Deserve Accommodation From Relative

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My family arrangement has been to go to a relative's home almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas over the past 10 years or more. The hostess never attempts to accommodate my gluten and lactose intolerances, which she is aware of. She serves mostly wheat- and dairy-based items for appetizers and entrees -- lots of Italian food...Read more

Should I Keep Hiding My Fancy Stuff From My Friends?

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I've known my current friends since college -- over 25 years. These days, my income is much greater than theirs.

I bought a luxury watch, car and other expensive goods, but I never wear or use them when I'm with my friends, who do not have such things. I'd like to wear my watch, but don't want to flaunt my income or be a jerk...Read more

Help! Kids Exist Near Me

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I live in what one would describe as an upper-middle-class neighborhood. My husband and I spent a great deal of money to make our backyard resemble a resort (including a six-foot privacy fence) since we could not go on vacation the last few years due to COVID.

It was very quiet and peaceful until new neighbors moved in next ...Read more

Masks Lead To Awkward Greetings Of 'hey ... You!'

Life Advice / Miss Manners /

DEAR MISS MANNERS: For the past two years, we have been living behind masks as we strive to keep from spreading, and contracting, COVID-19. Although they help reduce contagion, masks also eliminate handy facial characteristics that help us identify people.

Given this constraint, I'm wondering if there might be some polite way to say, "Who are ...Read more

 

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