Dear Miss Manners: 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?
Gentle Reader: 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.
Dear Miss Manners: I have a sibling who puts me on her speakerphone when we talk. It is frustrating to me, and I feel like she’s really saying, “I’m busy and don’t have time.” I think it’s rude.
She probably uses her speaker function in her business as a real estate agent, but I would find the habit equally as abrasive if I were a client. How would you handle this, or just let it go? Maybe I am wrong.
Gentle Reader: Using a speakerphone during a private conversation is not actually rude, unless that conversation is not actually private. Miss Manners is inclined to be lenient on the mechanics of the situation as long as there is an understanding that any previously unspecified listeners are always announced.
If you find it otherwise intolerable, then you may say, “I am afraid this connection is bad. Sometimes speakerphones can muddy the sound reception — and I don’t want to miss anything. Do you mind taking me off and seeing if it is any better?” And then tell them that it is.
Dear Miss Manners: 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, 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 also 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. 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.
Gentle Reader: 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.”
Write to Miss Manners — who sometimes responds with help from daughter Jacobina Martin or son Nicholas Ivor Martin — at www.missmanners.com.