Dear Miss Manners: I was dating a gentleman for a short time. Four dates, and then I decided that I did not care to see him anymore. I met him through my work, and I see him briefly every morning, because he has a daily pickup at my office.

One day, as he left the office, he handed me a beautiful piece of jewelry without any comment. I was taken off guard.

He has not asked me out or given me any indication that he wants to see me. The next day when I saw him, I asked him why he gave it to me, and he said he wanted me to have it.

I said that we were hardly talking to each other. He responded, "We are now."

You mean that you kept the jewelry? Then you get to keep the gentleman who gave it to you.

That is the reasoning behind a rule that probably no one except Miss Manners remembers: that a lady does not accept jewelry from any gentleman, whether she likes him or not, if she is not related to him or engaged to become so.

Dear Miss Manners: Where is the correct place for one or two egg cups for soft-boiled eggs in a breakfast place setting? Where is the egg spoon placed? And once the egg has been eaten, where should one leave the spoon?

So far, I have always placed the egg cup(s) to the upper left side of the plate and the spoon to the right of the knife and, once the egg was eaten, laid the spoon on my plate.

Do you mind moving that egg cup to the center of the plate beneath it, where it should have been in the first place? Miss Manners is a bit nervous about making soft-boiled eggs, which tend to be slippery, take a longer trip than necessary.

Thank you. She feels better.

Being small, the egg spoon can arrive on the right side of the plate as well as leave on it, but it can also be placed to the right of the knife — if you even need a full-size knife at breakfast, rather than a butter knife, which would arrive on the butter plate.

Dear Miss Manners: My friend was supposed to get married six years ago, but the wedding was canceled. I still have the bridesmaid's dress I was supposed to wear (something I would never wear post-wedding — a satin, strapless, dark purple, floor-length gown).

She is no longer with the former groom and has been in a relationship for three years with a divorced man who says he will never marry again. How long must I keep this gown? Or may I go ahead and sell it to a future prom queen?

Your friend changed her mind about whom she wanted to live with, and you expect her to be loyal to a dress?

But you are certainly faithful. Miss Manners is astonished that you let it take up space in your closet for six years and not only condones your getting rid of it, but urges you to do so.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website,

2018, by Judith Martin