Dear Miss Manners: I’m a woman who has done a fair amount of online dating, on a few sites. After messaging back and forth, arrangements are generally made to have a phone call, assuming both are interested.
I always review the man’s profile before the call, because it may have been several days or longer since I read it. It seems like the polite and prudent thing to do. That way I can mention things that he said and ask about his job or places he’s traveled.
However, in some cases, I can tell that the man has not done the same, because he is asking me very basic stuff that is in my profile. I don’t expect him to memorize everything or know everything, but doing a little homework shows the other person some respect.
Is there a polite way for me to comment on this? I’m afraid it would sound snarky if I said, “Did you even read my profile?” Or, “Well, Joe, all that information is in my profile.”
“As I mentioned in my profile — sorry if I am repeating myself — I do love fly-fishing and the changing autumn leaves. I think you said in yours that you preferred cheese-rolling on grassy hills?”
Dear Miss Manners: I asked my recently widowed neighbor and friend if she would like to come over for a drink. She inquired about the time, and I told her, “about 5 p.m., or whenever you get here.”
She arrived at 5:12 p.m. with some sushi she had purchased. I made her drink of choice, and we chatted while we snacked. There was no mention of dinner during our happy hour.
About 6 p.m., I turned on my stove to start cooking. My neighbor asked what I was preparing. I told her, and she finished her drink. That is when she asked my wife, “Will we be eating here or in the dining room?”
Caught off-guard, I did not know what to say. Neither did my wife. But after a moment or two of raised eyebrows my wife said, “In the dining room.”
While I was deboning the chicken breasts, our neighbor came over and grabbed one of the bones from the breast and started chewing on it. We are still speechless. How should we have handled this?
“Five p.m. or whenever you get here” is a difficult drinks-only time to maintain when you eat dinner at 6 p.m. As clear as you believe you made your invitation, the timing of it right before a meal was confusing, particularly as you went ahead and prepared it right in front of your guest.
True, there is no excuse for her to gnaw at food uninvited — even domesticated animals are roundly reprimanded for that — but as with animals, food that is enticingly laid out in front of them seems logically intended for their consumption.
Miss Manners recommends that you do your level best to regain your speech and set an earlier time for a drinks-only hour next time. And refrain from making dinner in front of guests with whom you don’t plan on enjoying it.
2018, by Judith Martin