Miss Manners: I publicly shamed these rude people, and they lashed back

Judith Martin

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I organized and paid for a family reunion. This included paying for five hotel rooms for my family, a meal at a restaurant costing $600, and a game in which I gave out envelopes with cash in them (total of $200). After the party, I also did lunches, which I paid for, totaling about $300.

Mind you, I am retired on a fixed income. I had to fly across the country, for which I paid. My family is reluctant to acknowledge or thank me.

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No one except one cousin offered to pay their own way on anything. When I returned, I wrote 23 thank-you notes to them for coming. I mentioned on social media this fact, and the fact that I had received no thank-you notes from any family member. Then I got on social media and found many notes from my family condemning me, saying I was not kind, nor Christian.

It broke my heart, but this is the norm from my family. I am pretty much ignored by my family.

Is it now normal not to send any acknowledgment for a kindness given? Is common courtesy now dead??

GENTLE READER: Courtesy is not dead, Miss Manners believes, though she sometimes needs to be resuscitated when she faints on the pavement (courtesy, not Miss Manners, who pays more attention to her footing).

The situation you describe leaves several points to be cleared up, even aside from why you spent so lavishly that you imply it was a hardship.

Writing thank-you letters to your host after an entertainment is, indeed, a requirement of good manners, although the cash outlay involved is irrelevant.

Writing thank-you letters to your guests for attending is not. Publicly shaming your guests for a failure to write is both rude and, as you discovered, likely to incite further rudeness.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: If a stranger approaches you with a question to which you give a definite answer, and then asks another person right next to you the exact same question for confirmation, would this be considered rude?

GENTLE READER: It is, assuming the definite answer was not a refusal. Miss Manners notes, however, that the fluid nature of sidewalk traffic makes it easy for the questioner to avoid this offense …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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