Friend can’t cancel your date to dance

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In the past few weeks I asked a girl to the homecoming dance and we have kissed. A couple of days ago, her best friend informed me that she didn’t like me anymore. I haven’t heard it from her directly.

I don’t know if I should still take her to the dance or if I should talk to her and not go. When we text each other now, it is very short and about trivial things. What should I do about the dance and our relationship?

GENTLE READER: Did you skip the elementary school lesson about the dangers of third-person reports on who secretly likes you and who secretly hates you?

Miss Manners assures you that it still holds. As does your date, unless you hear otherwise from the young lady herself.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My dad is living with his “girlfriend.” After a 54-year marriage, he quickly rebounded after my mom died three years ago and began dating her friend, who moved herself in within six months.

My sister-in-law is having a 75th birthday party for my dad, and I just found out that the “girlfriend” has invited her son and two grandchildren to this family function. Last Thanksgiving I was really put on the spot and made to feel I had to say yes when she cornered me and asked if the same son could come to my house. Luckily, she and her son decided to go to another function, and my dad came to my dinner.

Do you think this behavior is rude, and how should I respond next time I am in this situation? I would like to put an end to her manipulation of my family.

GENTLE READER: So Miss Manners gathers from your use of quotation marks alone.

She also suspects, from your description of that lady’s having “moved herself in,” that you have not consulted your father about this because you believe that he is a helpless victim of such manipulation.

But lest you manipulate him, you should find out whether he wishes the extended members of his household to be included in family events.


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