DEAR MISS MANNERS: I think that many people mistakenly prescribe any breath that does not smell like medicine or some drugstore swish as Bad Breath.
When my husband comes home from work and he gives me a big wet one, I might say "Where did you go for lunch and have a great Caesar salad?" as he is very aromatic. I enjoy it immensely. Or, sometimes if I'm with a client, I might want to ask "Where did you have that great pesto?" but I don't, because that would be bad manners.
Don't you think they're being very closed-minded??? I have many friends from Europe and various ethnic persuasions, and I believe that it is acceptable to smell like something other than a medicine bottle.
If my kitchen smells like a delicious spicy Italian dish, people compliment me. If I serve an aromatic dish, people give me compliments. But if my mouth smells like that great dish, that's bad???
Miss Manners, don't get me wrong I have experienced bad breath in others. (Coffee and cigarettes don't make a great combo in one's mouth.) But don't you think these uptight, narrow-minded people should relax and enjoy all these other wonderful scents???
GENTLE READER: What Miss Manners thinks is that you and your husband should content yourselves with enjoying your wet and pungent activities in private without the additional burden of worrying that other people might be uptight. She is afraid that your game of identifying the contents of people's digestive systems is not likely to charm those less attached to you.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a long-time moviegoer and often see as many as five films a month. I have often run across a problem that seems to cross all race, gender and age lines: talking while the movie is playing.
Obviously this is an annoying and ungracious habit. I have been met with responses from the agreeable to the impertinent when I have politely asked my fellow moviegoer to cease this activity. So my request to you is a simple one -- a final ruling to the long unanswered question: When is appropriate to cease all conversation in a movie house?
May I also ask, parenthetically, is it ever appropriate for a person to put their feet or legs up on the theater seats?
GENTLE READER: Once upon a time, moviegoers who were asked whether they didn't have someplace to go were engaged in an activity other than lounging and chatting. That was back before those amazing modern inventions, the video feature and premarital sex, which gave both talkers and lovers somewhere else to go.
But they keep hanging around. Okay, folks, keep your legs and feet on the floor and do not converse during the film.
Miss Manners might allow whispering during the previews ("There's one we can skip"), but is willing to listen to debate about that.