DEAR MISS MANNERS: We have friends, a married couple, with whom we have vacationed on several occasions. We live in different states, so we don’t see them that often.
This past Thanksgiving, we rented a house with them for a week. It was the week from hell. They fought constantly, trading insults; at one point, the wife was so upset that she left the restaurant right after we had all ordered food. It was a long, tense dinner at an expensive restaurant.
Her husband can be very insensitive to other people. It’s usually all about him.
My dilemma is that I don’t know how to tell my friend that it is no fun to go on vacations with them and that we will not be traveling with them this year. She and I have been friends for 30 years, long before our husbands were ever in the picture, and she is a treasured friend that I don’t want to lose.
Miss Manners: How can I assert my standing as a grandma?
Miss Manners: They keep asking for details of her military discharge, and we don’t want to say
Miss Manners: She won’t stop making friends with service workers
Miss Manners: The party hosts eat inside while everyone else is in the yard
Miss Manners: My new bosses blame me unfairly. Should I defend myself?
GENTLE READER: Your dilemma is not that you do not know how to tell your friend it is no fun vacationing with her anymore. Your dilemma is that you do not know how to get away with it — in other words, how to do it without giving offense and possibly severing the relationship.
Let Miss Manners clear this up: You can’t. But you can always turn out to be unavailable around Thanksgiving, or find alternative outings that do not include spouses.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: How should I relate to my father’s third wife, now that my father has died?
My biological parents divorced when I was a small child. My father remarried, and my stepmother died in 1994. He then met Lauren when I was well into adulthood (married, and with kids of my own), so I never thought of her as a stepmother. Lauren was married previously, but never had children of her own (by choice).
My father and I were not very close, but I stayed in contact, particularly as he began to decline with dementia. They lived across the country from me, so I called every few weeks and visited two to three times a …read more
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