Life Advice



Ending A Text Conversation

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin on

When the waitress had retreated, she then turned to my friend and said, "Is it OK to eat it or not?" She did eat it, and loved it.

Now I am curious to find out what the correct response would have been. Can you help me?

GENTLE READER: Your friend's friend's manners, as well as her dinner, are in need of a trim.

Warning the staff that the food is contaminated is, to a reputable restaurant, only slightly less worrisome than screaming "fire!" -- it is equally likely to empty the dining room, albeit on a different time scale. Neither the staff nor the fellow diners would find much comfort in subsequent assurances that it is only a small fire.

Even if she was not squeamish about the chicken, she should have considered the impact on others by informing the staff quietly and setting the dish aside. As to your friend's options, Miss Manners believes only one remained: looking green and asking to be excused for not feeling hungry.



(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.)

Copyright 2022 Judith Martin



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