DEAR MISS MANNERS: A new chair was recently hired for my department. He and his wife have been in town a few months and are gradually getting to know the rest of the faculty.
Miss Manners, the wife’s hairstyle is frankly grotesque. She wears it wildly teased and sprayed like a country singer from the ’70s. She is a nice lady, but everyone is tittering and making derisive comments behind her back. Can she (and her husband) truly be unaware of how inappropriate she looks? How, if at all, should this be addressed?
GENTLE READER: Does your college have a coiffure code? And do you really propose to enforce one unilaterally?
Miss Manners warns you that to level criticism in any way will make your life a misery. You would only be asking people to judge your own stylistic choices.
Besides, there is only so much that can be done with hair, and therefore styles have a way of reappearing as if new. For all you know, the students, who weren’t born in the ’70s, might love and imitate this look, and you could soon see it all around the campus.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My very proper friend and her brother both tell me that it is rude to talk about how well (or poorly) one slept. I’m 66 years young, and I’ve never heard that admonition before. Have I been sleeping under a rock?
GENTLE READER: If so, you probably should tell someone who can help you to find more comfortable accommodations.
Otherwise, such bulletins should be addressed only to those who are presumed to have a real interest, such as hosts, doctors and people who are worried about your well-being. Most people don’t even want to hear your dreams.
Also, Miss Manners must gently inform you that as you want to present yourself as young, this is not the way to go about it.