Miss Manners: I hid the embarrassing truth about our dinner tab

Judith Martin

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter just got married in a small ceremony, and a group of about 20 friends and family went to dinner after, which I had arranged.

The groom’s parents offered to pay half the bill, which wasn’t a problem — but their credit card was declined.

As I was the one the wait staff was dealing with, I simply paid the entire bill and handed the declined card back, while saying, “It’s all settled.”

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Was I wrong to not give them a chance to pay a different way? I assume they’ll figure out eventually that they weren’t charged, and if they insist on paying me back, they’ll figure out a way to do it. But my main concern was avoiding embarrassing them in that celebratory moment.

GENTLE READER: Which was tactful. Miss Manners assures you that it also would not have been remiss to have taken one of the other parents discreetly aside to explain the situation. Cards may be declined for reasons other than fraud.

But if you were in a position to be generous without making a show of it — or insisting on immediate payback — it bodes well for the future of the relationship. Or — if it becomes a habit — its complete and utter demise.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: In today’s age of constant contact with our ever-present phones, what’s the appropriate response when a friend with an alternative schedule (for instance, working in another time zone) contacts me during work hours on my personal cell?

I feel awkward ignoring their calls, but also feel perturbed that they do not appreciate that I work standard business hours.

I received a mid-afternoon call on a Monday from a friend who informed me that now was a good time for him to return

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

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