Dear Miss Manners: We have a weekly ladies’ group that meets for coffee. As a result of covid-19, we haven’t met in quite some time. We announce our meetings on a social media group page because we would like the group to be open to new people who might be interested.
However, there is a lady who often overshares and divulges information about others that is private. As a result, she is not well liked by any of the other group members.
Most of us have subtly communicated that we would prefer not to spend time with her (by being busy when she reaches out, or simply not following up with her about getting together). She doesn’t seem to be able to read the writing on the wall.
Is there a mannerly next step? Is there something more than hinting, but less than overtly saying, “We would prefer that you didn’t come to our group?”
Last year, when some precipitous events occurred, I let her know, directly but respectfully, that I was not comfortable with some of her behavior. She is just quite committed to spending time with us despite this.
I am not sure what, besides simply tolerating her, there is to do. Can you see something I am missing?
Yes. That she is reading the writing on the wall.
Your social media wall. Where she is able to see when and where the meetings are being held.
Therein lies the somewhat obvious problem. Miss Manners understands that you want the group to be open to new members, but this sort of public invitation means that anyone can join. And clearly, you would like to be more selective.
Dear Miss Manners: My husband and five of his male friends have a long-standing, semimonthly game night they take turns hosting. When my husband hosts, the players arrive after our young children are in bed and stay until midnight.
These games can get rowdy and bawdy, so I usually say hello when they arrive, then withdraw upstairs for the evening.
The most recent time my husband hosted, he suddenly became very ill with a high fever halfway into the evening. He told his friends to continue playing, and then went to bed, leaving them alone downstairs.
What was the right thing for me to do in that situation? I was already in my pajamas and tucked in for the night. Should I have left the guests alone to play while we all slept, and hoped they’d show themselves out? Or I should have dressed and sat up with them, feeling like a hall monitor?
In the end, I got up, waited until a natural stopping point and asked if they could continue the game another night. It was awkward. I trust these guys to have run of our house, but it just felt wrong to leave guests unattended. Was there a better way to handle this?
Yes, but not by you. Your guests should have left the moment your husband declared himself unwell.
Miss Manners wonders at their flagrant disregard for his and their own health — particularly in the current climate, when a high fever could be the symptom of something very serious. These men must really take their gambling seriously.
New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.
©2022, by Judith Martin
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