DEAR MISS MANNERS: When someone is introducing me to someone else, I keep my mouth shut, listen to the person doing the introducing and let them finish.
Invariably, the person to whom I am being introduced will interrupt the person doing the introducing by saying his/her name. Also invariably, when I am introducing someone, one or both parties will blurt out their name/s in the middle of my introduction.
I consider this not only rude, but it causes confusion with two or three people talking at the same time. Often times, I or another party will have to ask the other party to repeat their name because it was not clearly understood because of everyone talking at once when if they would have just kept quiet and paid attention, everyone would have understood everyone's name.
What is it with these people who feel like they absolutely MUST butt-in saying their own name before the person doing the introducing has a chance to say it?
GENTLE READER- You don't realize what an enormous favor these people are doing you, do you?
Trust Miss Manners: Some day you will.
Blanking out on names, even those of people one knows well, is a common problem that many people have all their lives or may acquire with age. Knowing this, and wishing to spare introducers embarrassment, is what makes your acquaintances blurt out their names.
When you are doing the introductions, you are welcome to show a very mild form of impatience -- a weary smile at the speaker that telegraphs "Yes, of course I know." However, you should be aware that this is exactly what is done by people who had no idea what the name was, and which their kind friends are cooperating in setting them up to do.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My hair is so beautiful, I can hardly stand it! I get compliments like, "Your hair looks so pretty!" and I respond with a polite, "Thank you."
The truth is, my hair is sparse and thinning because of my medications. The beautiful hair is a stylish wig.
I'm OK with the first compliment. But sometimes questions follow -- "Is it naturally curly?" "What salon do you go to?" "Who does your hair?"
GENTLE READER: The problem here is not that you are wearing a wig. The problem is that people don't know that a compliment should not be the prelude to demands about how the admired effect was achieved.
There don't seem to be any free niceties any longer, Miss Manners observes. They are all followed by "Where'd you buy it?" "How much did it cost?" or that zinger, "Is it real?"
Answering any of those questions only brings on more. You would be getting a critique of your medical history in no time.
So if you can't get in a quick change of subject after giving your thanks for the compliment, Miss Manners advises you to throw in an off-hand remark that can pass for modesty -- "Oh, I don't do anything special with it," or "It's always been like that" -- followed quickly by "Did you have any trouble with the traffic in getting here? It seems to me it's getting more congested every day."