DEAR MISS MANNERS: I will soon be having weight loss surgery, and my stomach will be able to hold less during each meal than it used to. What would be the proper thing to do and say when dining out? Should I order my own meal and waste most of it? Would it be a mistake for my spouse to order his dinner and ask for an extra plate?
What should I say when our server asks for my order? If the server starts giving me the "specials" and the "what's good here" speech, what should I say? I do not feel that my surgery status would be anyone's business but my own.
I can't ask for a doggy bag, either. We do not have any pets to enjoy it, and I do not like leftovers.
GENTLE READER: But do you like suggestions? If so, you could ask the server for a helping of those.
As Miss Manners understands it, even though restaurants sell food, they generally refrain from force-feeding their patrons. You could order an appetizer or request something light, which sounds ladylike, without pleading changes in the dimensions of your stomach, which doesn't.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was, until recently, dating a very nice young woman whose old-world manners, strong moral character and ravishing good looks made her a primary contender for marriage. (I had hoped to me.)
With hindsight, she seems to have been giving me signals for some time that she wished the relationship dissolved. One of the primary signs was the condition of her house, which was, need I say, filthy.
Now, of course, all of us are not tidy by nature, nor should we attempt to squeeze our loved ones into our preferences. However, it seemed like a bare minimum of cleaning (throwing away scraps of food on the table, sweeping occasionally and clearing the dinner table of piles of advertising circulars) would have shown her desire to make me happy and somewhat at ease.
I attempted addressing the issue in as polite a form as I could and was responded to with several expletives and something along the lines of "You can't tell me what to do with my house!" Now, this is true, I suppose -- her house is her own, and she may take care of it in any way she deems fit, however, mustn't we make some accommodations for our significant others? Was I out of line in asking her to be a bit more tidy?
GENTLE READER: Would Miss Manners be a bit out of line in mentioning that your account of this situation is something of a mess?
We do not call hurling expletives, no matter how provoked, to be "old-world manners." And your question about whether one must make housekeeping accommodations for significant others is moot here, as you had already noticed signals that you were an insignificant other.
Surely it would be foolhardy of either of you to continue such a disillusioning situation. But for future reference, one does not evaluate someone else's housekeeping habits except in the context of merging households.