Life Advice



My Host Told Everyone I Was In Town

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Several months back, I reconnected with an old friend from my hometown whom I had not seen in many years. We both expressed a desire to see each other again the next time I returned to visit family.

Fortunately, COVID travel restrictions have eased, and I was recently able to visit my sister's home. Shortly after I settled in, my sister posted a photo on social media happily announcing my arrival. She tagged me in the photo (a practice I find presumptuous and annoying) and my old friend commented on the picture, wishing me a nice stay.

While I had intended to contact my friend personally, telling him I had arrived and that I was still interested in meeting up, I now felt that since he clearly knew I was in town, he would have extended an invitation or reiterated his desire to get together.

He has not done so, and I am fine with that, as I understand he may be busy or is limiting his social contacts during the pandemic. My sister, however, thinks I should reach out and invite him out for lunch. I am in a quandary as I don't want to appear pushy.

Was it appropriate of me to not pursue a meet-up after my friend's Have a nice visit comment? In the future, when I am visiting from out of town, what is considered proper etiquette for arranging a get-together?

GENTLE READER: It is generally the responsibility of the visitor to inform the locals of their arrival. This should be done by calling friends personally, not by public posts, which are social media's equivalent of saying nyah, nyah -- showing unsuspecting friends the events to which they have not been invited.

No doubt, your friend is waiting for your call. And, Miss Manners fears, his comment was disguising hurt feelings or even betraying sarcasm, since you did not reach out as promised but are obviously in town.

He has no way of knowing that your sister posted without your consent, so in his eyes, you were the one doing the nyah, nyah and did not want to see him. Please stop this passive cycle and call him.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have been married for over 30 years now. However, my mother-in-law thanks my husband, and not me, when receiving gifts (even in person).


I have not brought this up with my husband, but feel unappreciated, since we are equal wage-earners and jointly decide on family gifts. How should one deal with this situation?

GENTLE READER: Bring it up with your husband: Your mother does not seem to think that I had anything to do with picking out that silk robe we got her for Christmas. Do you mind mentioning that we both decided on it -- or at least giving me shared credit for the next present? Unless you would prefer to undertake the task of picking out gifts for her on your own from now on.

Miss Manners suggests that you say that last bit sweetly and as a genuine request. She assures you that the threat part will be implicit.


(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)






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