DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have been married for 19 years. He has two daughters from a previous marriage. They have actively hated me since the very beginning.
They are now grown women, 41 and 37 years old. After our last visit, I have decided to quietly bow out — it is long past time, and my husband agrees. I will still make sure birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions are observed by their father. He can visit them and they can visit him as they all wish.
I obviously won’t be there the next time they’re all together. What should my husband say? Neither of us is looking for a huge blowup among them.
GENTLE READER: “She couldn’t make it this time” — repeated each time as if it were the first.
Miss Manners offers this as the surest path to the quiet you understandably desire. She does not pretend that it will reform bad behavior, mend relationships, or satisfy those who feel that brutal honesty is better for family health than avoiding angry blowups.
Miss Manners: I was doing a good deed, so why did she give me that look?
Miss Manners: What I said caused the party to end early
Miss Manners: The customer said she was sorry but I was still steamed
Miss Manners: Am I a bad roommate or is she too touchy?
Miss Manners: Is it wrong for me to unplug a stranger’s car?
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How in the world did the current conversational “filler word” become “perfect!”? And how do we discourage this annoying “grading” of everything?
Nowadays, it seems, one cannot have any conversation regarding a transaction without one’s response being graded as “perfect!” by the questioner. It often even becomes catlike with a “purrrfect” judgment of me or my response to their question.
GENTLE READER: The wording of conventional responses seldom bears up under close scrutiny, as Miss Manners would have told a hypothetical gentleman of a past generation who objected that the clerk was wrong to call his purchase “very good, sir.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My physician is also a family friend of over 40 years. He is now in his eighth decade, and has been quite remarkable in his health and abilities. But after these many years of excellent care, I have noticed in the past year that his skills and mental acuity are failing.
He insists that he will not retire until next year. However, I am concerned that he will make a mistake — if not with my care, then with another patient’s. I should like to switch to another physician.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment
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