“No.” Common kindness and courtesy aside, Miss Manners notes that you admit this would not be a lie. To wit: “The wearer’s looking fat had nothing to do with the poor dress.”
Dear Miss Manners: I am going on vacation with my boyfriend's family, and I am not sure how to approach paying for my share. My boyfriend assures me that I am not expected to pay for anything, but I am uneasy about it.
It's one thing to let his family pick up the cost of our lodgings, since I am an invited guest, but I would feel uncomfortable with their paying for other things, such as movie tickets or restaurant meals. How do I decline any offers they might make for these smaller expenses without being rude, especially if they insist?
While I make little money, I am in my late 20s and can't help feeling infantilized when others refuse to let me pay my way — and dismiss my protests — especially for the small stuff. I don't want to seem ungrateful. I'm not! However, it's important to me to be recognized as an adult, and for me, part of being an adult is being taken seriously when I say, "I'll pay for myself, but it was kind of you to offer."
I'm afraid they might find this off-putting, but I know I will be annoyed and hurt if my wishes are ignored, even if they mean well. And I would be extra horrified if I did not pay for something when they thought I should; they are already being plenty generous.
I am not particularly well-acquainted with his family, so I'm not sure how they will react. I want to make a good impression, while still being true to what I think is right. Am I being overzealous and insecure, or does my plan of action sound reasonable?
Your concern sounds reasonable, but your plan needs some work.
A large part of being an adult is considering the feelings of others, even if that sometimes means putting aside your own.
Squabbling over every movie ticket is not likely to leave the impression you want. When a payment comes due, offer to contribute, but accept a refusal graciously. You may even lessen the obligation by asking if you may host specific events — taking the family out for dinner toward the end of the visit, for example. And Miss Manners assumes that you will pen an extremely charming letter, perhaps accompanied by flowers, immediately upon returning home.