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Miss Manners: Moving litter box is a reasonable request, money, public forums

By Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin Andrews Mcmeel Syndication

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter has a lot of cats and more than one litter box. One is kept in the spare room, which is where she expects me to sleep if I visit. She thinks I am overreacting to not want to sleep in that room. Is she inconsiderate or am I wrong?

GENTLE READER: Unless the occupant is a federal prisoner, it seems reasonable to Miss Manners not to have to share quarters with another occupant’s night soil. If your daughter will not honor your request, then perhaps you can claim a recently developed reaction to ordure (a synonym for bodily waste, but it sounds authentic, doesn’t it?) and ask if she can at least temporarily put it in the bathroom instead.


DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I, in the past, have been invited to our neighbor’s home for drinks. I always ask if there is anything I can bring, and they always reply with “BYOB.”

What is such an invitation about, if they are going to have us over for drinks and then tell us to BYOB? I find it rude – and we have been invited again for drinks, with the same reply that we bring our own beverages. It will just be them and my husband and me.

GENTLE READER: Forgive Miss Manners for demanding the obvious, but if you do not like the answer, why do you keep asking the question?

She has all but given up on imploring guests to reciprocate invitations by responding in kind, rather than by furnishing the supplies. So while it is certainly odd to ask guests to bring their own drinks to a drinks party, your hosts may well be exhausted from thinking of other things for you to do, and have chosen this as the most obvious solution to a persistent question.


DEAR MISS MANNERS: What would be an appropriate response to a relative who often points out that we have more money than she does?

She bases her belief on the fact that we travel and states that she can’t afford to take “expensive” trips. (If she were to skip the shopping trips to NYC and ocean cruises, she could afford that river cruise.)

We had a tag sale and she remarked that we should just give items away, because “it’s not like you need the money.” I do not discuss my finances with her, so she is just making assumptions.

GENTLE READER: As are you. The critical difference being that your relative is making these assumptions directly to you – instead of in a public forum for all to see.

To be clear, Miss Manners does not at all condone your relative’s rude behavior; she is just pointing out the irony. Make a deal with her that you will not judge the way she spends her money, if she does not criticize yours. And then – at least in public forums – stick to it.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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