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Miss Manners: Address ex-wife’s wife by name

Wed., July 2, 2014, midnight

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am divorced. My ex-wife just got married to a woman. For the longest time, I was playing the field, and now I have a girlfriend.

I am quite cordial with my ex and want to introduce her new spouse to my new girlfriend. How should I address her spouse?

GENTLE READER: Both ladies have names, Miss Manners supposes. And both have had ample opportunity to learn the various relationships involved, so you need only introduce them by name.

When introducing either to others, it would actually be the simpler to say “my former wife and her wife,” with their names, and simply the name of your friend, rather than dealing with the awkward question of whether your friend is a girlfriend, partner, or whichever term you find least awkward.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I take taxis to the airport about four or five times per year. Most drivers take the direct route, but a fair number will take a slightly longer route to up the fare.

What is the proper etiquette for what to do when this happens? Skip the tip? Argue over the bill? Pretend nothing happened?

GENTLE READER: None of the above. Miss Manners urges you to speak up – and quickly. Specify your preferred route when you give your destination. This will forestall any contemplated dishonesty – and you may even learn that the driver was actually trying to save you money by avoiding a delay of which you were unaware.


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