When I question him about these habits, he tells me that there is no need to display any niceties, as it is only the two of us. He claims he knows how to behave in polite company. Not only is it insulting and off-putting, I fear that one day he might forget himself in this "polite company" that apparently does not include me.
I have tried to discuss this matter with him, but to no avail. Icy stares do not work, either. I am at my wits' end. I am tempted to serve his next meal in a dog bowl.
While for some, the pandemic has only reinforced the absurd notion that one does not have to be polite to the people with whom one lives, Miss Manners has noticed that the rising divorce rate during it proves otherwise.
You may be able to get away without shoes while being housebound, but you cannot forgo respect. And the contention that one would pull oneself together for company is not a defense; as you point out, it is only more insulting. Perhaps you can suggest that until your husband can display good manners, you will be dining elsewhere — even if that means in the bedroom with a tray.
Dear Miss Manners: My person and I got married last January. It was an intimate, last-minute, courthouse affair with five friends, whom we then shared the weekend with in Palm Springs to celebrate. My now-husband and I dated for 12 years, so this was not a shock to anyone. We are in our early 50s.
Is it too late to do a registry? People are still asking what we want for a present, and I tell them we have everything we need (true). But even now, seven months later and during covid-19, friends who are just learning that we got married ask where we are registered. (I think they are excited to have heard some positive news.)
What if I did an "in lieu of" and asked for donations to a cause? It's never too late for that, right?
Asking people to donate to a cause of your choosing is not a present. Unfortunately, you must continue to politely demur and find other ways to spread positive news and good cheer. Miss Manners recommends that it not be by regaling them with tales of the wedding celebration that they missed.
Dear Miss Manners: Is it acceptable to post a death notice of one's spouse online?
An obituary is more formal — with phone calls made by you, or friends and family, to people who are close. Miss Manners acknowledges that this is less efficient than social media posts, but she maintains that it is also more dignified.
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.
2020, by Judith Martin