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Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

Miss Manners: Is asking for a pint of beer “terribly rude”?

By meerna Jul11,2024
Miss Manners: Is asking for a pint of beer “terribly rude”?

Dear Mrs. Manners, My wife and I were at an informal outdoor party for a child’s birthday. As soon as we arrived, the hosts offered cold bottles of good beer.

If I’m drinking a good beer, I like to let it breathe in a glass or even a plastic cup. I accepted a beer from the host, and then—thinking there might be cups available that I just hadn’t seen—asked for a cup or glass. The host said sure, walked about 10 feet to his kitchen, and returned with a glass. The beer tasted wonderful.

But when we got home, my wife told me I had been terribly rude and that I should have ignored my preference for beer as a sign of respect for the host. I disagreed, pointing out that if the situation had been reversed, I would have gladly bought a mug or glass for my guests. Who is right?

Here you go, spoiling the fun for the rest of us.

If you asked for a birthday cake to be served on a gold platter, your wife would be right: It is impolite to make unreasonable requests to the host. Miss Manners does not think the glass is unreasonable – it would be easier to do so if you kept to yourself the part about it making the beer taste better.

Dear Mrs. Manners, I take long walks around my apartment complex every morning. Like many others, everyone seems obligated to say “hello” as they pass by, which happens so often that I get distracted from my pace and my thoughts.

Most of these people are complete strangers to me, and I want to keep it that way so I don’t get into too many conversations when I’m trying to practice.

Even if Miss Manners We’d be inclined to help you — probably by stifling any attempts at being overly polite — but wouldn’t you still be distracted by the need to snap at every passerby?

A simple nod of the head, without breaking stride, satisfies the requirements of basic politeness and seems to carry little risk of developing deep or lasting friendships.

Dear Mrs. Manners, We invited a classmate of my child’s to join us for a week at a rented beach spot. He is a big eater, as big, growing, football-playing high school boys tend to be.

I felt a little more resentment because his mom hadn’t given him any spending money, let alone cookies or otherwise offered to contribute to the travel costs.

When I dropped him off, neither she nor he said thank you. They got in the car and drove away, never to mention the trip again. I don’t want to include him in the future, though I sympathize with the rudeness.

Not spending the future it is not rude to extend an invitation—nor is it to assume, as they did, that the host will provide the guest with all that he needs. Although Miss Manners agrees that not saying “thank you” is a valid reason for not extending further invitations.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday. washingtonpost.com/tips. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, I miss manners.comYou can also follow her at @RealMissManners.

By meerna

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