I am feeling miffed! Am I out of line?
No, just out of favor. While this whole procedure was clearly rude, Miss Manners recommends that you consider yourself lucky — and that much richer — for not having spent money on a forced vacation with (apparently distant) relatives. As an added bonus, she permits you to forgo the present that she feels certain will be solicited, and suggests you reward yourself with an actual vacation.
Dear Miss Manners: I usually wear my best clothes to a funeral. But at a recent funeral I went to, wearing a posh velvet purple blouse, I was ridiculed and told (in front of everybody) that it was inappropriate and I shouldn't have worn it.
I now feel insecure in what I want to wear, as well as inferior that my clothing choice was not taken seriously. I am a grown woman and this shouldn't affect me, but it does. What should I do, Miss Manners? What is suitable attire for a funeral?
Black. “Best clothes” does not necessarily mean “poshest and showiest” when it is for a funeral. The point is to look smart, but respectful — not, Miss Manners warns, to upstage the guest of honor.
Another point is that criticizing other people’s choice of clothing, let alone doing so publicly, is astoundingly rude.
Dear Miss Manners: My sister invited my kids and me for dinner at her house. She baked two types of bread: one with raisins and one plain.
We all sat down at the dinner table and she set down both loaves of bread. Her children started eating from the one with raisins, then my children started eating from the plain one. When she saw them doing that, she immediately forbade it. She told them to eat from the raisin one because it had already been eaten into. They responded that they don't like raisins. She responded, "Eat around them." Could you imagine any reason that would justify a host forbidding her guests to eat food that she herself served them? One would think the reason she baked two types of bread was so that her guests would have an option. Apparently they didn't — or at least my kids didn't.
Next time you attend dinner with your relatives, Miss Manners recommends that you instruct your children to take a long, sad Dickensian pause, look up from their plates and say, “Are we allowed to eat this?”