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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Keep medical history from dinner talk

Judith Martin Universal Uclick

DEAR MISS MANNERS: After years of ill health, I have recently resumed dating. I am 39 and have frequently been told I appear a good deal younger than I am. However, due to my health issues, I have had a partial hysterectomy.

Of course, I know better than to address medical concerns (past or present) at dinner with a gentleman who simply wants a nice evening out. I simply want a nice evening out, too.

But I know that eventually, he might find it useful to learn this aspect of my medical history. I would very much appreciate your advice about how and when to broach this subject.

GENTLE READER: Not to bring up your hysterectomy during dinner is an excellent idea, Miss Manners agrees. Any dinner.

It is never a good idea to put your medical history into general circulation, but this is especially true in regard to a gentleman whose intentions toward you are unknown. As, presumably, are yours toward him.

The matter will become relevant if the two of you begin to discuss having a future together. The notion that people are entitled to intimate information in order to consider whether to pursue the acquaintance is both vulgar and dangerous.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper thing to do when you show up at an event or meeting wearing the same outfit as another woman? If it is possible to change, should you?

GENTLE READER: That strikes Miss Manners as an awful lot of trouble to take for a minor coincidence. Besides, if it were a rule, both ladies would rush home, and, as they seem to have the same taste, might show up in different identical outfits.

How much better it would be to rush over to the other lady and declare, for all to hear, “What a beautiful dress! You look stunning in it.”

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email, dearmissmanners@; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.