DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a question regarding the proper placement of pillows. When pillows are placed onto a bed (in a pillowcase), should the open end of the pillowcase face the middle of the bed or the edge of the bed?
This has become quite a quandary for me and my girlfriend. She will gladly admit that when the pillowcase has a decorative border, it is appropriate to place them with the opening to the edge of the bed. However, when there is no decorative border, she places them toward the middle of the bed.
When she makes the bed, I then turn around and adjust the pillows so that they are facing the edge of the bed. She will change the pillows around to face the middle of the bed (when there is not a decorative border) when I make the bed. This has become a little game that we play day in and day out. However, we would appreciate knowing if there is actually a "proper" way to do it, or if it really depends on what you like.
GENTLE READER: Conventionally, the open ends of the pillowcases are at the edges of the bed. However, you will be disappointed to hear that there is nothing proper or improper about aligning them as you wish. Miss Manners has no intention of marching into a couple's bedroom and rating for propriety the little games they play.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: On a trip to a big box store I noticed that a length of heavy rope had been tied into a lynching noose and laid out across the aisle. The history of lynching has recently received much media attention, and I live in a county that suffered more than its fair share of lynchings, so it is unlikely this was unintentional.
Most of the customers of this store are African-American. I untied the knot and put the rope away. I could have brought this to the attention of a manager, but I thought that if the symbol was removed without anyone having taken offense, then whoever did this would have failed to give offense. When someone chooses to give offense and no one notices, has no offense been given, or it is better for society if we make an issue of these things? It often feels as if the fuss that follows an anonymous hate crime is more damaging than the crime itself. Should I have called a manager?
GENTLE READER: If you were the manager, would you not want to be aware that someone was using your merchandise to imply that your customers were in danger of being lynched on the premises?
Miss Manners suggests that you ask yourself why. But here is the answer anyway: Your kind and quick response only solved the immediate problem. Management needs to be on the lookout in case the larger problem surfaces again.