I am not allowed to work anywhere else, due to my family's workspaces. Can you help, please?
Unfortunately, Miss Manners cannot retrain your father, as, with the far greater claim of having to work, you have been unable to do. So let us shift to killing him with kindness.
Suppose you get up somewhat earlier, fix him a breakfast tray and deliver it elsewhere, complete with covers or pots that will keep the food warm until he awakes. That way, you are doing him a favor, rather than asking him to do the minimal accommodation — it can hardly be called a favor — you require.
Dear Miss Manners: I am a healthy 73-year-old mother of two married daughters. Since the pandemic, I have been very careful, wearing a mask and following all the recommendations regarding being safe.
My younger daughter and her family agree with me and follow the rules. I see them, with precautions.
My older daughter and her husband believe covid is a hoax and refuse to wear masks. I have not seen them in person since February, nor have her sister and family.
The older, less careful daughter is hurt that we won't see her. She argues that we are being too careful and masks are not needed. I think she and her husband should respect my position and wear masks in my presence, especially since I am a senior and her mother. Do you agree?
The issue here is not so much that your older daughter and her family do not believe in wearing masks; it is that they would rather forgo your company than yield to your request that they wear them for the short time of a visit. It seems to Miss Manners that they can hardly have a claim to being hurt when they have so flagrantly hurt you.
Dear Miss Manners: I am a 73-year-old woman with a pleasant and young-sounding voice. I am in sales, and some of the men I speak with can get a little flirty before I meet them in person.
I would like to be able to say something before we meet that would tip them off that I'm (often) way older than they are. Any suggestions?
You could try using antique slang. But presuming that you are not yourself flirting during these calls, Miss Manners does not consider you responsible for failing to fulfill any hopes or fantasies these people may have developed during what is supposed to be a business call.
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. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.
2020, by Judith Martin