Dear Miss Manners: I was trained, at the earliest possible age, that when exiting an elevator, my role as a male is to hold the door open to allow all female and elderly passengers to exit before me.
How would you propose my handling the situation where the lone woman in the elevator is standing with her back up against the wall with her face buried in her phone, oblivious to the fact that the elevator has arrived at its destination?
I have tried two approaches, both unsuccessful. Approach 1: I stand there holding the door open indefinitely, with the hope that she will notice that it's time to exit the elevator. I have often stood there for a long time without any reaction. That leads me to attempt Approach 2: I say, "Excuse me, the elevator has arrived at the lobby."
This has been met every single time with an annoyed response from the woman, who then takes her time to finish up her text message and huffs out the door. Neither approach is working.
Your duty is to enable the lady to disembark, not to make sure that she does. Just as you would not hold the door indefinitely for someone you know is getting off at a different floor, the lady in question can be abandoned after a reasonable pause.
Miss Manners realizes that this robs you of the pleasure of seeing her annoyance when she realizes that she has missed her floor, but it gets you on your way.
Dear Miss Manners: When I was a kid, I was teased all the time about how tall I was. I didn't know how to handle it, and just stayed quiet.
Well, after decades of not having to deal with it anymore, the other day, an elderly woman teased me about it. I don't think she meant anything cruel by it, but it took me aback.
I didn't know what to say. Is there some way of nicely saying that I don't appreciate any comments about my height?
One of the benefits of growing up is an increasing sensitivity to the feelings of others and a diminishing sensitivity to their opinions. Unpleasant as it is to be reminded of the teasing of school days, Miss Manners hopes you can laugh off this rudeness. But, if not, a stern, silent look should be enough to demonstrate your displeasure.
Dear Miss Manners: If an adult child is estranged from parents and one parent were to pass, how should that child be acknowledged in an obituary?
In this case there are three adult children but one has "left the fold." There was a gradual exodus, but it is presently a complete estrangement, and I was thinking of other families who might be experiencing a similar situation.
The mention of children in obituaries is usually limited to a factual list of names. Those facts, Miss Manners notes, have not changed. And an obituary hardly seems the time to rehash old disagreements.