Dear Miss Manners: I am nearly 72 years old and am finally engaged to be married, with a beautiful diamond ring. (I have had many relationships with men, but never one who gave me a ring and wanted marriage, as this man does.)
And then I feel guilty about it and put it back on the left. How important is it to wear your engagement ring (and eventually your wedding ring) on the left hand?
Important to whom? Miss Manners cannot imagine who would have a stake in this issue other than you and your fiance, and he less than you, because it is your hand.
Yet outsiders do seem to take an unwarranted interest in other people’s marital rings. They have spread the notions that an engagement without a ring does not count and that one without a large diamond hardly does. And that if rings are not worn on the left hand — even though in other societies, the right hand is customary — deception is intended.
Should any such person have the nerve to question you, you could simply say that it is your preference. Or you could ask if they suppose you are hoping to attract other suitors.
Dear Miss Manners: I am a crafty person. I like to sew my own clothes, make my own jewelry and create my own accessories. I am frequently complimented by people on my creations, and my usual response is to say "Thank you! I made it myself!" Is this fishing for compliments?
But you already caught that fish. Miss Manners assures you that your reaction only alerts complimenters that they have made a lucky strike.
Dear Miss Manners: My wife and I attended a Super Bowl party hosted by some friends. In addition to opening up their home, they did most of the cooking.
We took over several items and a cash contribution to help pay for the food costs. My wife was late to the event, and I took over all the food myself; this included two bottles of whipping cream.
Later I found out my wife had intended that I take only one bottle. So, several days later, I informed my friend that we had only intended to take one bottle of cream and would it be okay to pick up the second bottle. My wife strongly disagreed with this. What do you think?
That you should have listened to your wife. It is not charming to inform a host that you grudge him a bottle of cream.
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.