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Miss Manners: Someone was rude to my daughter after a small accident

Dear Miss Manners: We were shopping at a local farmers market and I had just placed my order at the butcher counter. My teen daughter was standing next to me and opted to move out of the area to make more room for others.

As she turned, there was an older woman immediately behind her, so close that my daughter had only started to turn when her shoulder bumped against this woman and caused her to lose her balance. My daughter quickly steadied her at the shoulders, apologized several times and asked if she was okay.

The woman glared hard at her, brushed off the front of her shirt as though my daughter had spilled something on her (my daughter was holding nothing) and huffed, but did not say anything. She then proceeded to walk over to a companion and declare loudly how “that young lady tried to run me over.” Both of them glared pointedly at her until we were able to complete our order and leave the area.

Was there something else my daughter or I should have done? I believe my daughter handled the situation appropriately, and I told her so. However, she was quite distressed at the treatment this woman gave her and was worried that her action was somehow more terrible than the small accident that it was.

The mama bear in me wanted to say something to the woman, but I’m also a firm believer in not being rude just because someone else is.

The lessons for your daughter to learn are those you are already teaching her: that not everyone is polite, but that we do not return rudeness with more rudeness. You may tell her that Miss Manners knows she handled the situation well — and that everyone within earshot was on her side.

Dear Miss Manners: Is there a new way of timing weddings and receptions? I have been invited to several weddings where the ceremony is at 2 p.m., but the reception is at 5 p.m., leaving three hours in between.

The ceremonies only last around 30 minutes and the reception locations are not far away (perhaps 20 minutes). What are the guests supposed to do during this long interval? Also, many of these weddings state “black tie optional,” so are we supposed to stay in our fancy clothes until the reception, or go home and change?

In the past, the reception was right after the ceremony. Am I old-fashioned? Is this a new trend?

Which trend are you thinking of? Deciding that the venues (which were only available at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.) are more important than the guests? Summoning friends and family at the whim of the wedding photographer while everyone else stands around? Holding a black-tie event before sundown?

No, none of those trends are new — nor do they fulfill the requirement of hosts to consider the convenience of their guests.

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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