Dear Miss Manners: What's the best way to order something from a menu when the restaurant has given it a ridiculous name?

The restaurant calls the sandwich I want "Smack Yo Mama." It's stupid — and I find it offensive. Do I just point at it in the menu and say, "I'll have that"? Or do I say, "I'll have the Smack Yo Mama without the side order of misogyny, please"?

Pointing is one option. Another is to read back the description that most menus find necessary when the name is so clever as to be unidentifiable:

“I would like the pastrami on rye with Tabasco, cayenne pepper and a side of pomme frites.”

Miss Manners recommends reserving complaints for someone, such as a manager, who is in a position to make a change. If none is available, the suggestion box or the restaurant’s comment section on its website will do.

Dear Miss Manners: My husband had been widowed 10 years before we met. He had three early-adult children, and I was divorced with one high-school-age and one early college-age children whom I raised by myself.

My entire family loves and includes my husband in every occasion. After nine years of marriage, with no conflicts between myself and my husband's family, my husband's children still exclude me from every occasion.

I was included on his son's wedding invitation as "and Fam," but I wasn't seated with family, given a place at the reception table or included in pictures. The couple's dog was given the place that the groom's father's wife would traditionally have been given — I was given a folding chair in the kitchen doorway because there was no place card for me at any table.

I am not included in family holiday gatherings, although last year I was notified that I owed a significant amount for the rental of a cabin for a Christmas gathering that I wasn't invited to and didn't attend because I didn't know about it.

I have attended gatherings and grandchildren's birthday parties, even though I wasn't included on the invitations, and each time I have been treated as an outsider, again asked to step out of family photos.

I behave as graciously as possible, but it continues to be very uncomfortable for me, even though my husband doesn't see it that way. Today's invitation came again addressed only to my husband.

Is it rude for me not to attend? Is it inappropriate for me not to send a gift? My husband never gives a gift — I have always been the one to give the gifts.

How can it be rude not to attend an event to which you were not invited?

But when you say there have been “no conflicts” between yourself and your husband’s family, Miss Manners can only conclude that you use the term in a very literal sense. There is an enormous conflict — whether your husband is able to see it, and whether you are too gracious to make a scene.

Families have been broken by lesser provocations than those you describe. If your husband is unable or unwilling to defend you, you need no excuse to decline invitations that were never made.

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.

2019, by Judith Martin