DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a single female. I am friends with a married male whose wife thinks that, fundamentally, this friendship should not exist. She says that if I were married, she would think differently. He and I work together and have become dear friends over the last year.
Is his wife right? Should we NOT be friends just because I am single and he is married?
GENTLE READER: Of course Miss Manners believes in innocent friendships between the married and the unmarried. Unfortunately, she cannot tell you which ones they are.
But her opinion hardly matters here; nor, for that matter, does yours. The issue is whether your friend can convince his wife that he is trustworthy enough to be allowed the usual adult privilege of choosing his friends for himself. You should not be friends with someone who embroils you in his marital discord or puts you in the undignified position of hiding the friendship.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it appropriate to give someone digital photos on a CD/DVD, in lieu of printed copies? I often take photos at my children's school or social events. Since many of these photos also include children other than my own, I try to share them with the parents of these children.
Before I had my digital camera, this was done by offering them printed copies. Now that I have gone digital, the images will sit in my PC for weeks, even months, before they are professionally printed.
Rather than wait to give them the images on paper, I often burn them to a CD and offer that to the interested parties. My reasoning is that they can get the images nearly immediately that way, print as many copies as they wish at whatever size they wish, and still have a version reserved for future use (and yes, all of these families have a home computer, so access is not an issue).
My husband says that this might appear to be skinflint behavior, given that the price of a CD is a fraction of the cost of a single photo print. I say it is practical for all involved.
Incidentally, when a friend returns the favor -- offering images in which I might be interested -- I have no problem with paper or digital versions. The effort is what matters to me.
GENTLE READER: Don't you want them framed? And didn't you want video instead? And are you quite satisfied with the quality of the pictures your friends give you? Wouldn't they have hired professional photographers if they weren't such cheapskates?
Just as it is unbecoming to question the value of an offering, sniffing that it was done more inexpensively than it could have been, it is unbecoming to assume that the recipients will do so.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am 8 years old. This morning I went to breakfast with my grandpa. For my beverage, I ordered a hot tea. After using the small plastic container to add honey to my hot tea, I dipped it in my tea to get all the honey out. Is this permissible? My grandpa says he thought Miss Manners would frown on this.
GENTLE READER: Miss Manners is afraid that he is right. Well, no, she wouldn't frown; she would sympathize with you, but she would agree with your grandfather. Thank him for the lesson, and then ask him to get the waiter to bring you another helping of honey.