Miss Manners: a friend reveals the financial situation of all the others

DEAR MISS MANNERS: A friend has a terrible habit of always mentioning, as an aside, how rich – or short on blood – someone is when their name comes up in conversation. Some of these people I know, some I don’t know.

I wish I had touched on this habit when she was still just an acquaintance, but it’s only now that we often talk on the phone that it comes to me in such a glaring way.

I would really like a good answer other than my silence or my change of subject, which had no effect. Maybe something softer than my tendency to blurt out, “You know, that’s rude.

GENTLE READER: “How lucky you are to have friends so close that they even share their financial information. I am shy about such things and would never tell anyone but my accounting.

If you’re feeling daring, Miss Manners will add, “…lest it be passed on.”


DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was at a social event, and a dance teacher I took a few lessons with was also there as a guest. She came over to say hello to the woman sitting next to me and gave her a big hug.

As the teacher turned away from her friend, her head and body were pointed at me, less than 4 feet away. I said, “Hi, Delia.” She looked at me and walked away. I know for a fact that the professor knows my name and my face.

I believe this is called a cut. I did it myself to someone, once in my life.

Now I know why Delia is mad at me: a few years ago, I spoke out of sorts in her class, uttering a single ordinary word that was interpreted (probably correctly) as a criticism of her education. When I returned to her class at a later date, she allowed me to attend (after thanking me) and encouraged me to participate, so I thought everything was fine.

Apparently not. So what is the correct answer? Should I refrain from saying hello in the future? Keep saying hello to see what happens? Avoid his classes? (I think I’ll have to, because it was just too awful.) Besides, I shouldn’t discuss this with anyone who knows her, should I?

GENTLE READER: Maybe she missed it, but Miss Manners sees no mention of an actual apology in the above exchange. She suspects that Delia also missed it. If you think she is not a good teacher, do not attend her classes. But if you choose to do so, you must be respectful.

To fix the current situation, you might say, “I thought we had solved the inconvenience before, but I don’t think I ever apologized properly. I’m sorry for being disrespectful in your class and I hope you can forgive me.

And then please refrain from any other simple, ordinary and/or offensive words in the future, unless your plan is again cut – socially or permanently from class.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to his email, [email protected]; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)




1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500