DEAR MISS MANNERS: Friends of ours invited us to a pancake breakfast at their high school, a fundraiser for the boys’ basketball team. Even though we live in a different school district, we wanted to go because we support our friends, and we really like pancakes.
As we were getting ready to go, my husband emerged wearing our own school colors. His shirt, jacket and ball cap were emblazoned with our school mascot; there was no question where our loyalty lay.
I told him that unless we were going to a sports competition, it was in poor taste to dress like that at another school’s event. He said that at the next pancake breakfast, he will dress however Miss Manners suggests.
GENTLE READER: Why was your husband trying to ruin everyone’s pancakes? Particularly when he is kind enough to say he will follow Miss Manners’ instructions.
You were guests in this school’s house – and Miss Manners agrees that dressing to show hometown loyalty is somewhat aggressive and impolite. It is also, you might point out, often the reason that tourists get such bad reputations.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a sweet, loving, well-mannered dog. When I am walking her on her leash, strangers look aghast at her, and me, and tell me my dog should be muzzled or on a chain, not a leash. They ask why I am “bringing a dangerous dog out in public,” etc. In case you can’t guess, she is a pit bull.
What would be a polite response?
GENTLE READER: “I can assure you that my dog is not dangerous, and I would never allow her to hurt anyone. Nor,” you may say pointedly, “to approach and insult a stranger unsolicited.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am sick and tired of receiving no response to my text messages! I have recently learned this is called “ghosting,” which leaves one in limbo, never knowing why the other party does not respond.
Perhaps nowadays, people feel entitled to a sense of digital anonymity. They don’t bother to respond because they feel they don’t have to. But I feel we should give others a response to messages we receive via email or text, even if it is just to say “I no longer wish to participate in this discussion.”
Could you please give me a link that I can send to these ill-mannered people that politely tells them what I think of their inconsideration?
GENTLE READER: What makes you think that people who will not even respond to a text a few words long will click on, and read, a whole link? Texting can produce a false sense of urgency and intimacy. While it is rude to not answer at all, expecting others to do so immediately, or on your time frame, is equally unreasonable.
Miss Manners recommends that if the matter in question in these texts requires a response, you find an alternate means of communication. If that produces similar results – within a reasonable timeframe – unfortunately, you may consider that these people are no longer your friends.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com.
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