Miss Manners: Do I need to tell these women why I’m through with them?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have been married for 19 years. He has two daughters from a previous marriage. They have actively hated me since the very beginning.

They are now grown women, 41 and 37 years old. After our last visit, I have decided to quietly bow out — it is long past time, and my husband agrees. I will still make sure birthdays, Christmas and other special occasions are observed by their father. He can visit them and they can visit him as they all wish.

I obviously won’t be there the next time they’re all together. What should my husband say? Neither of us is looking for a huge blowup among them.

GENTLE READER: “She couldn’t make it this time” — repeated each time as if it were the first.

Miss Manners offers this as the surest path to the quiet you understandably desire. She does not pretend that it will reform bad behavior, mend relationships, or satisfy those who feel that brutal honesty is better for family health than avoiding angry blowups.

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DEAR MISS MANNERS: How in the world did the current conversational “filler word” become “perfect!”? And how do we discourage this annoying “grading” of everything?

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Nowadays, it seems, one cannot have any conversation regarding a transaction without one’s response being graded as “perfect!” by the questioner. It often even becomes catlike with a “purrrfect” judgment of me or my response to their question.

GENTLE READER: The wording of conventional responses seldom bears up under close scrutiny, as Miss Manners would have told a hypothetical gentleman of a past generation who objected that the clerk was

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

      

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