Dear Miss Manners: I was infected with the coronavirus. Several of my friends have graciously offered to deliver meals, which I have accepted.
The standard is to ask yourself: When is this help no longer required?
Miss Manners recognizes that this is an even hazier standard than the one you propose. But she needs to make allowance for those who, for example, may be able to prepare a meal but still have more-than-usual trouble acquiring the ingredients (perhaps because they cannot yet go out and they never had the technological sophistication to order in).
Her practical solution is to imagine what you would like to avoid — having a friend arriving at your doorstep with food to see you mounting your bicycle or, as your quarantine ends, sallying out dressed for a night on the town — and then stop the meals long before that is likely to happen.
Dear Miss Manners: My twin sister and I have always shared friend circles. She is far more outgoing than I, and usually she made friends and I got to tag along.
For years, we have shared the same social circle, which is grounded in a hobby. About six months ago, she and the group’s leader had a nasty disagreement, which saw her and her boyfriend walk out of the hobby/social circle.
I see both sides of the argument, understand how she was personally hurt and think the leader ought to apologize, but I know he won’t. On the other hand, I also don’t think it was worth essentially blowing up the world over.
Now to my problem: how to move forward socially. My sister still harbors resentment toward these people, who are some of my closest friends. I feel awkward inviting everyone to the same events, or going to events where one party is excluded. How do I navigate a “friend divorce” when one of the friends is my sister?
Inviting everyone to the same social event would, indeed, be awkward, as your sister and the social circle are no longer on speaking terms. It is therefore best avoided.
But socializing separately with them and your sister is more complex. A break brought about by serious maltreatment on one side leaves you little choice but to side with the injured party. However, it sounds like this break was not, to your thinking, so clear-cut.
If you can convince your sister that you are not injuring her by keeping such people as friends — independently from your relationship with her — you also have Miss Manners’s blessing. This is so even if your sister’s agreement is halfhearted.
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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