DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it OK to swish wine or water in your mouth in the company of others?
GENTLE READER: Only if you are at a wine-tasting – or your own bathroom sink – and there is a suitable depository at the ready.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My longtime companion and I have been making a couple of trips each year to visit his daughter and her controlling husband, who live 400 miles away. We always stay in a hotel, but are invited to their home for dinners.
After our last visit, I stated that I would never go to their home again. The daughter is a nice person, and she and I get along great. The problem is her husband. I’ve put up with his repulsive manners, but I no longer wish to subject myself to his belligerent rudeness.
On our most recent visit, while I was in the kitchen alone, the husband strolled in and paused as he came near me, then proceeded to let out the loudest belch I have ever heard in my entire life. It was definitely deliberate and apparent it was directed AT me.
I felt that he was daring me to say something, but I acted as if I hadn’t even noticed what he had done. But inside, I was fuming! To me, it was the same as saying “F.U.” Am I being unreasonable in refusing to visit them in the future?
GENTLE READER: With your most sincere and concerned voice, say to his wife, “My dear, I am afraid that there might be something medically wrong with your husband. He makes the most extraordinary sounds and I fear that his digestive system is failing him. You might want to get him checked.”
If your companion’s daughter does not choke on her own food with laughter, Miss Manners feels that she will take the hint and address at least that specific problem – if not his rudeness altogether.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am looking for guidance as to the best way to deal with a deceased father of the bride in an upcoming wedding.
The bride’s father committed suicide 10 years ago, and the devastation to his children and family is still very apparent. The wedding is being paid for by the bride’s mother and her now-husband of seven years.
They did not put the deceased father’s name on the invitation, and the paternal grandparents, aunts and uncles are livid. We are in the midst of writing a wedding speech for the mother of the bride, and are wondering the best way to mention him in the speech and honor his name in spite of how he passed.
GENTLE READER: “Harvey would have so loved to have given this wedding with me, and to be toasting our daughter today …”
This honors him, while also pointing out the obvious to his relatives: that the deceased simply cannot issue invitations. Miss Manners further assures you that unless one of the guests is an autopsy reporter, details of the death are never necessary at a wedding.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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