Q: My daughter is very hurt that no one has sent her recent graduate anything yet. It has been one week, and she did not send out announcements.
Is it proper to put on Facebook how disappointed she is and that her son deserves better? What is the proper timeline for such things?
A: It depends on what the objective would be in doing this.
If you are predicting a resulting outpouring of love and material offerings from those to whom this scolding is directed, Miss Manners rather doubts that it will be successful. However, if the idea is to make your daughter appear greedy and her son to appear pathetic, the chances are good.
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Q: When talking with my husband of 30 years, he feels he needs to correct every word mispronounced. I find it irritating and lose my thought process when telling a story or my train of thought. He does it more as he has gotten older. What do you think?
A: That 30 years is a long time to refrain from attacking someone who drives you crazy. Unless, of course, you keep mispronouncing the same words, in which case Miss Manners imagines that it is he who is about to go over the brink.
Q: I’m in a serious, one-year relationship with a wonderful man. He has a passion for running, which keeps him quite fit. I am a personal chef with a passion for food and entertaining, which often leaves me too tired to think of exercise. I could stand to lose a few pounds if either one of us were bothered by it.
I was able to meet his parents, who are equally passionate about a fit lifestyle and was invited to dinner in their home. During the meal, I asked to be passed the dish of pasta that was served. His father obliged and then his mother said, “I’m sure Johnny will get you hooked on running so that you can start burning that stuff right off.”
I went from confused to shocked and then offended. And I responded “You’re right, I’ll refrain. I was just being polite as it is obvious you wouldn’t normally have guests in your home.” My boyfriend quickly changed the subject and we went on with the evening.
My boyfriend later told me that I was incredibly rude. I told him that I simply replied to his mother’s statement in kind. I know Miss Manners is often put to the task of deciding who is correct so, in this instance, I would like to ask what she would have done in my shoes. By the way, his parents live on the opposite side of the country, and I do hate running.
A: The gentleman was right: You were incredibly rude. Mind you, his parents were rude, too, but that is no excuse for your being so.
Besides, Miss Manners can’t help noticing that they inadvertently hit on a weakness of yours: You really don’t know when to stop. You could have made your point while staying within the bounds of politeness by stopping after saying, “You’re right, I’ll refrain.”
Judith Martin writes the Miss Manners column with help from her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, and her daughter, Jacobina Martin. Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.