DEAR MISS MANNERS: With the new year ringing in, my husband’s and my phones began ringing shortly after midnight. We were receiving countless text messages and calls from those celebrating.
My issue with this is that my husband had to work the next day, and we also have two young children who were woken up by this commotion. My husband is a sheriff’s deputy and being well rested is vital to his safety, but it being a holiday, he had to leave his phone on in case he was needed at work. I have to leave my phone on because my mother is disabled and at times needs my help.
When I made a posting on a social network site that I found it rude and unacceptable that people would find it necessary to contact us so late at night, knowing my husband had to work the next morning at 6 a.m. and that the constant phone-ringing woke our children up, I was attacked and called names by my so-called friends and family. I was told to get over it and lighten up, that it was a holiday.
I am angry over these reactions and am wondering how to explain to people better than I already had about how their reactions are inconsiderate. I have been called names and talked down to by some people who I have never even met face-to-face, but have them on my account because they are either friends of my husband’s or distant family. Any suggestions?
GENTLE READER: First, that you calm down — but with the hope that you will not find that as offensive as the suggestion to lighten up.
New Year’s Eve is the one night it is generally assumed that people stay up, if only to exchange a kiss before dozing off. Unless your friends are in the habit of going on benders where they think it funny to wake you, there was no point in chastising people who only meant to show they were thinking of you. Furthermore, you did it for all to see.
Miss Manners’s suggestion is that you apologize in the same forum, plead exhaustion, and wish everyone a happy New Year. Your second resolution — after keeping your gripes off the Internet — can be to remind your friends individually of your habits when you wish them a happy 2013 before they go out for the night to celebrate.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are wondering if there is any unspoken law as to the proper date to start displaying a Christmas tree, and also when to take it down?
GENTLE READER: Christmas trees are supposed to inspire squeals of delight. When the squeals sound more like “Is it Christmas time already?” or “There’s no use vacuuming because that tree is going to keep shedding,” Miss Manners would say you had overstepped the boundaries.
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