Dear Miss Manners: I have a friend I have known most of my life, but we seemed to get closer the past 15 years or so. Some bad things happened in my life, and she was there for me at the beginning. But now that life is better, she doesn't have time for our friendship. She is always busy.
Do friendships ever last a lifetime? Or is it normal for them to end? I'm wondering if I put too much importance on my friendships.
Your friend was there when you needed her. And now she is busy — possibly even attending to another friend in need, or to factors in her own life.
Miss Manners does not see this as the end of a friendship, but it could become so if you are not as sensitive to your friend’s needs as she was to yours.
It is normal for friendships to become more or less intense depending on what else is going on in people’s lives. Considerate friends do not pout about being neglected, but adjust their expectations. So yes, you are attaching too much importance to the friendship as being the chief factor in your friend’s life.
Dear Miss Manners: Could you please tell me how to eat cooked peas?
Philosophically. That is, you must resign yourself to the fact that you will not be able to corner every last one of them, and that everyone else you ask will quote the jingle about using honey on a knife. Miss Manners will only offer you the comfort that the last pea is not worth chasing.
Dear Miss Manners: When our daughter was married, many guests traveled from out of state to attend. As she and my son-in-law had been working for several years, they did not create a registry, and instead stated, "Your presence is our present."
Our families are very traditional, and the wedding was small. Most guests brought cards with well wishes. I was shocked and a bit hurt that no one in my immediate family bothered to give them a card, much less any kind of gift. None of our siblings or parents is struggling financially. In fact, everyone is very successful.
I've never neglected to recognize a family member's life event. It has been several months since the wedding took place, and no late cards have arrived. I know I should not hang on to this hurt, but I just can't believe how much this has disappointed me.
Our daughter did not expect monetary gifts. But she feels sad that when she looks through her wedding mementos, no one in my family took a minute to even sign their names to a card.
Your daughter explicitly stated that the guests’ presence constituted presents — which is unnecessary, as both are obviously voluntary — and that is what she got. Unless you are referring to people who ignored both the invitation and the event, why are you and your daughter brooding?
Miss Manners cannot imagine where the idea came from that those who attend must also bring or send cards. You would both be happier concentrating on memories rather than counting mementos.
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.