Dear Miss Manners: I have a friend in my circle who is about three years my senior. We are both in our 60s, in great health, in long-term marriages and of the same socioeconomic status.
While I try hard to take these comments as compliments, they aren’t delivered that way, and they feel dismissive. Otherwise, I really enjoy spending time with her. To this point I have only casually replied that we’re really not that far apart in age, but nothing has ever stopped the comments.
Am I just being too sensitive? I’m struggling to figure out how to approach her with this.
It is surely one of the silliest prejudices in modern society that growing older is considered so unfortunate a condition that it is supposed to be a compliment to pretend that it did not happen.
This notion is so commonplace that one such comment could be ignored, but Miss Manners understands that the repetition is annoying. As you are close enough friends to meet often, it might be worth saying, “You seem to think I’m embarrassed about my age or that I’m pretending to be younger.”
Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I were invited to our good friend’s wedding. Unfortunately, we had previous plans for a cruise on that date, so we graciously declined. We have since given the couple a very nice wedding gift, and have also been in contact with the wedding party and done a few favors for them as the ceremony approaches.
The week before the wedding, my husband had a mild stroke and was in the hospital for five days. He was discharged two days before our cruise departure. Obviously, we rescheduled.
The wedding couple has been notified as to the change in our plans. Should the couple reinvite us to the wedding ceremony and/or reception? Should they at least offer an apology for not being able to reinvite us due to budgetary constraints or the guest count for catering?
All they have done is to ask if we would let their dogs out during the event. Am I expecting more out of this friendship than is possible?
You are expecting people who are in the throes of giving a wedding, with all the complications that involves, to keep enough track of your husband’s health to know that going out would not interfere with his recovery.
If they are very close friends, Miss Manners would think you could ask, “Do you still have room for us?” But she would expect you to be gracious if they do not — and in any case, to let the dogs out.
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.
© 2023 Judith Martin
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