February 26, 2014 in Features

Miss Manners: When ‘we’ are pregnant, simply offer congratulations

Judith Martin Universal Uclick
 

DEAR MISS MANNERS: On more than one occasion, I have heard a woman say, “We’re pregnant!” when referring to the fact that the couple is expecting a baby. My in-laws will even say, “Did you hear that John and Jane are pregnant?”

I think that phrasing it in such a way is ridiculous, and I often find myself responding in a manner such as, “Wow, he’s pregnant, too?”

How should I respond to statements such as this, when it is so obvious that the woman is the only one who is pregnant?

GENTLE READER: While it is plainly unfair that mothers should have to do all of the childbearing, Miss Manners, like you, has noticed that such is the reality.

Presumably the plural is used to make the point that this unevenness does not extend to child-rearing, as it might if the child were merely some little project of the mother’s. But fatuous is not rude, and your response should be merely to offer congratulations.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve noticed a trend where some of my friends tip as much as 50 percent (on tax, too). Even new tipping “apps” have calculation options up to 50 percent.

I always thought if the service was outstanding that 20 percent (not on tax) was more than generous. Am I behind the times, or just a cheapskate?

GENTLE READER: Your friends are very generous to people who are woefully underpaid. And as employers knowingly underpay them, expecting the customers to make up the difference, everyone in the industry has an interest in raising the rates.

Miss Manners would have thought that using percentages to calculate tips would ensure increases with the cost of living. However, as you know, the usual rate has crept up to 20 percent, with something more or less depending on the type of establishment.

She has no wish to discourage additional largesse. But that is dictated by the heart and the wallet, not by etiquette.


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