Q. The mother of a boy in my class is a friend of my mother. He is a creep and no one likes him. My mother wanted me to invite him to my birthday party, but I told her it would spoil everything, and she said it was my birthday, so I didn't have to, but I did have to be nice to him some way. So I offered to show him my report card if he would show me his, but he ran away and told his mother I was mean to him and she told my mother. Now I'm in trouble. Do you believe me that I was being friendly, or do you think I was being mean, or what?
A. Or what. Miss Manners hopes you are in sufficient trouble now so that you will not grow up to offer to compare pay checks with people you believe to be earning less than you.
Q. Which is correct, to pour milk into tea, or tea into milk? I have an aunt who pours cream into her coffee, but put milk in the cup first when she is having tea. What about lemon?
A. What about your aunt? She's English, isn't she? The English believe that milk is poured into the cup first, and then tea, while we Americans -- backed by some English rebels -- are enlightened enough to realize that the tea should be poured first and then milk, so that the milk is not scalded by the boiling tea water. Thinking people everywhere put the lemon in the cup first.
Q. what is the correct way to address a Protestant clergywoman? What about when she is with her husband, who has no title?
A. The form is the same as for a clergyman -- the Rev. Angela Mather, or the Rev. Dr. Angela Mather, and Dr. Mather. Miss Manners is scandalized by those who believe that God is more interested in sex than service when contemplating those in his or her ministry.