DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a single male friend who is a serial monogamist. He dates one woman exclusively and devotedly for about six months, and then, inevitably, he ends the relationship.
It's bad enough that he does this to relative strangers, but he's also working his way through all the single women in our common group of friends. I hate what he's doing to himself, but also to our group as a whole.
His exes bear him ill will, of course, but so do the rest of us. Inviting "the gang" over for any social gathering can be a diplomatic nightmare, and we are all getting sick of losing friends-who-are-girls.
I also think this guy has a serious problem above and beyond a garden-variety type of commitment phobia. I think he needs counseling. So my question is, should I say something to him?
I am happily married so I'm off his romantic radar. He and I have been friends for eight years. Furthermore, if he were an alcoholic or clinically depressed, or in need some other way of a friend's intervention, I'd do it. And frankly, at this point, I think we as a group may decide to vote him off our proverbial island if he keeps hurting people we like.
GENTLE READER: The last Miss Manners heard, dating was not classified as a disease.
Isn't the whole idea of it to keep getting to know different people until you find one you want to keep? It is really not becoming in happily married people to chastise their single friends for not settling down with people whom they have found disappointing. And you never know what might work out -- as the ladies in your group surely thought when they took their chances with your friend, in spite of having observed the same pattern you did.
But if he does not necessarily have a psychological problem, you surely have a social one. The counseling you can offer is the warning that you plan to keep inviting your friends from whom he has unhappily parted, and unfortunately will not be able to include him at such times.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am an employee at a grocery store, and I push carts. I got to tell you pushing carts is a hard job. I be out in the parking lot sometimes by myself and I got to deal with a lot of carts people just throw there any where. When it's busy like Friday, Saturday and Sunday and after 4 p.m., I struggle pushing carts. People will see you coming with carts and cut you off. They run past stop signs.
I try not to grab so many carts because I don't want to hit a car. Sometimes it's hard to catch a break.
GENTLE READER: It is. Miss Manners would like to recommend to your employers that they issue you an orange or red vest and a hand-held stop sign as an indication of authority over the rude.