Dear Miss Manners: I have two good friends that I've recently decided not to dine in restaurants with. Why? They insist on making multiple changes to anything they order. They order dishes that aren't even on the menu and often send food back. Neither has allergies, just pickiness and limited palates.

I read that requesting more than one change to a dish is just rude, and I highly agree. Why eat out? Make it your way at home. If you're dining out, go out on the edge and try it the way the chef makes it.

One friend thinks that because the staff knows him, he's well liked. I think they cringe when he comes in and curse him in the kitchen. What do you have to say about picky people in restaurants?

Even one requested change might be too many if there was no demonstrable difference between what the restaurant claimed to be offering — hot food, for example — and what was served. And your friend would not like to know what the staff really thinks.

Dear Miss Manners: My friend Henrietta, a bit of a snob, doesn't own a car and often requests a ride into town. This is fine, but she always has me drop her a few blocks from our main square, saying she "could use a bit of a walk."

She does this even when it's raining, and it sometimes involves an awkward stop on busy roads. I've learned that she doesn't do this with her more upscale friends, and I suspect she doesn't want to be seen with me or alighting from my old economy car. I confess I'm a little hurt and am wanting to confront her on this.

Fulfilling as it would be to change your friend’s behavior, confronting her about it is unlikely to accomplish more than embarrassing both of you. If you really want to get even, Miss Manners recommends you continue to oblige her requests to be dropped off in the rain, which will leave her cold and wet — ample punishment for her crime.

Dear Miss Manners: When I had a friend visiting my place for the first time, I met him outside in the parking area to walk him in. A neighbor with whom I often chat was outside, and said, "Hi, David, who's your friend?"

Well, none of her business, basically. If I had wanted to go through introductions, I would have offered.

Is it rude not to introduce someone in all such circumstances? And if so, then how do you avoid the detour into too much talking and further questioning?

Added to this is the fact that any information shared would probably be grist for idle gossip among more neighbors. How do you maintain a friendly distance and indicate one's preference for privacy?

As there is no polite way to refuse the requested introduction, just keep it brisk: “Jason, Evelyn. Evelyn, Jason. I would love to catch up later, but my apologies — right now we have someone waiting for us.”

Miss Manners is out of breath just saying it, and she was not simultaneously having to keep Jason in motion toward the door without turning her back on Evelyn.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

2021, by Judith Martin