Dear Miss Manners: During a sporting event that was part of an acquaintance's birthday, I met her husband for the first time. Later, as I took in the long lines of food with dismay, I noticed that he was halfway one of the lines. I loved my happiness!
I asked if he wanted to buy food for me and gave him a $ 20 bill. He returned and offered me a regular hot dog (knot and hotdog only), which I think would have left a fair amount of change, even at the prices of the balls. He did not mention the change, which I thought was a little weird. I did not insist, but I felt uncomfortable.
Was not I in line to ask the favor of such a new knowledge? I have not indicated whether I expected change or offer him to buy an item as part of the transaction. Was it rude to claim the favor without allowing him to use the change in his own purchase? Was it my responsibility to inquire about the change when he came back and introduced me a very clear hotdog?
Even an old acquaintance would have trouble juggling an extra order with food, let alone stopping to throw out ketchup, mustard and enjoy it.
You could have offered to pay for the rest if, for any reason other than choosing a change from different sources, it would probably block an already rushed exchange and annoy the people behind him. It is also possible that he intended to change you, but forgot.
Miss Manners suggests that you let it go, next time say, "I hope it did not cause you any trouble – and please do not worry about the change." This gives you recognition for the outcome, while also giving him the chance to remedy the situation if he wants to.
Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I bought our dream house after many years of hard work and sacrifices. Our 15-year-old new house is modern and modern in style, situated on a picturesque hill with a small lake across the road.
Many guests are happy and intrigued by the openness, beautiful style and location. But when relatives visit and travel around, we often hear: "This is not at all what I expected." What would you suggest as an appropriate response to this somewhat uncomfortable statement?
"Thanks, we are glad you like it."
Miss Manners notes that people who have been mistakenly credited with being merciful never deny it.
Dear Miss Manners: A friend of mine wants me to wait until the very last minute for a Saturday morning (I work full-time, from 9 to 5, from Monday to Friday) to see if she wants to do something with me or not. I think this is very rude.
I would never think of asking anyone to hold a whole Saturday until I decided what to do at the last minute! How can I help this person see that her question is unreasonable?
"If you're not the one able to keep you on schedule, maybe we can plan a time when you know you are free. What does the next summer look like? "
New columns from Miss Manners will be posted on archynety.com/advice from Monday to Saturday. You can ask questions to Ms. Manners on her website, missmanners.com.