September 20, 2020

Miss Manners: Should I tell her why I won’t eat at her house?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a bosom buddy who loves to cook. Unfortunately, every time I eat her cooking, I suffer enormous intestinal distress.

For some time now, I have avoided eating at her house by scheduling my visits with her at times when I can reasonably say I have already eaten, but now she invites me over saying, “Come hungry.”

I couldn’t think of any way out of a recent invitation, so I accepted and had a meal with her. Inevitably, I got sick. What would have been the polite way to avoid eating at her house? She rarely goes to restaurants, and especially not now.

GENTLE READER: Etiquette exists to avoid confessions like, “I value our friendship, but your food makes me throw up.”

This should be relatively simple: You express disappointment that you are — for no specified reason — unavailable; your buddy accepts this answer gracefully.

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Miss Manners realizes that, in reality, your other friends are urging you to be honest, while your would-be host will not stop asking what you will be doing at that time. When everyone sees staying the course as a virtue, without regard to oncoming traffic, collisions are unavoidable.

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You have two good options: Get used to hearing yourself say how sorry you are that you cannot attend — or find something among the food provided that you can eat.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When and how is it polite to tell a casual contact that there is a glaring typo on their business card, website or other promotional materials?

Here are just a few examples I have seen: “Family RESOURSE Center” on a business card from a mass-networking event; “We Provide EXPEREINCED help” on a proudly displayed banner in a temp placement office; “Estimated Texas Population in 2040 — 50 BILLION” on a PowerPoint presentation.

I figure people might want to know so they can correct it, but I don’t want to sound pushy or arrogant. Also, some of these are people who might hire me, so there’s the added question of, “Will this be a positive indicator of how conscientious I am, or a negative indicator of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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