Dear Miss Manners:
My boyfriend and I both have jobs that pay well, though sometimes I find it hard to make ends meet. He is aware of this and on rare occasions, upon my request, he loans me money. There is not a problem. (I write a check postdated for two weeks, when he is guaranteed my account will be good for it.)
We went to the track to run last night and then we went to my gym for a hot tub. I had scraped up $5 for gas so we went to the station for fuel.
On the way, he asked what we should do about dinner. He is not tight with his wallet, more frugal, so I will usually go Dutch for meals. I also cook for both of us at my home but this night I was tired, poor and annoyed that he didn't announce where he was taking us for dinner or, for that matter, fill my gas tank up with money from his fat wallet. He was aware of my tired, moneyless situation but seemed to be lacking a brain.
I requested he bring me home and he did. I felt like a gun ready to fire a few bullets in his direction, but opted for the quiet route, figuring I best think before I speak and mean what I say.
Indeed. Inquiring "Why didn't you open your fat wallet, Brainless?" does not strike Miss Manners as likely to bring forth a flow of remorse supplemented with generosity.
What might have done so would be to say, in a sweetly pathetic tone, "I don't know what to do about dinner. I'm too tired to cook and too broke to buy both gas and food."
However, you do not mention, nor did you seem to notice, whether the gentleman was also exhausted and cross. In that case it might have been better for you both to limit your statements to as pleasant a "good night" as you could manage and start fresh the next day.
Dear Miss Manners:
When our granddaughter, a lovely young lady of 20, visited us, we showed her a nice time, bought her new clothes, took her to dinner and the theater. She was with us for a week and we paid for her trip.
She was a nice and considerate guest, but there is one small thing she didn't do, and that was to send us a note of appreciation.
Or is this typical of young people today? They know so little of etiquette that one person I heard of used to send thank-you notes for received thank-you notes!
That's a little too much, but I think a phoned thank-you is not enough. Maybe I'm in the wrong century.
No, your granddaughter is. In her part of the century, the young are supposed to guess what is expected of them without anyone's taking the trouble to teach them what it is.
Obviously she means well, as does the person who doesn't know when to stop a round of thanks.
It would be a favor to your granddaughter to tell her what the standard procedure is for thanking hosts.
The way to do it without criticizing her is to point out that you are the one who should have more emphatically taught this to one of the two people who should have taught her.
Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-black ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, in care of this newspaper. The quill shortage prevents Miss Manners from answering questions except through this column.