August 22, 2014 in Features

Miss Manners: Compliment to son throws off mom

Judith Martin Universal Uclick

DEAR MISS MANNERS: How do I respond to a person who comments I have a good-looking grandson when he is my son?

GENTLE READER: Your son is complimenting your grandson? Or another person is mistaking your son for your grandson and complimenting him?

If the former, you may enthusiastically agree.

However, Miss Manners suspects that it is the latter, and that you are so offended by the notion that you might be a grandmother that your nouns and pronouns are having trouble agreeing.

Saying, “Oh, thank you. I hope that my future grandson will be as good-looking as my son is now” should clear up the social problem.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have two friends, a couple, and the parents of one of them always take me out for dinner with the family when they are in town. We dine at a very nice restaurant that I would normally not go to, due to cost.

At the end of the meal I always ask, in sincere honesty, what I can contribute to the bill and am always told my money is not needed. They also refuse to let me take care of the tip.

I have sent thank-you cards and have made food and desserts for my friends when the family is in town, but I would like to be able to contribute once in a while to the bill.

Am I being too pushy in insisting to help with the tab? What is the best way to thank someone for being kind and generous?

GENTLE READER: Please excuse Miss Manners while she takes a moment to collect herself. It is not often that a Gentle Reader presents a situation in which everyone in it is behaving perfectly.

Allow the parents of your friends to keep inviting you to dinner. Continue gently offering to pay and graciously accepting it when they refuse. Carry on writing thank-you notes and making meals and treats.

Clearly, you are all enjoying one another’s company; generosity is being met with gratitude, and there is nothing whatsoever that Miss Manners can do to improve the situation. Give her another moment.

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