DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have an ongoing debate with my hubby over how to eat popcorn. Although I know this could be considered a subject of little importance and there might not be anything official to say about this, it has become a small "bone of contention" in our family. Perhaps you would be able to shed a little light.
Is it acceptable to reach into the bowl of popcorn using one hand to acquire several pieces (five or six), which are then eaten, one by one, with the other hand? The reasoning given for this method is to keep the hand used for eating the popcorn out of the bowl.
Could this manner of acquiring the popcorn be considered to be something similar to hoarding? Your opinion could possibly end a dispute of about 14 years.
GENTLE READER: Then what are you going to talk about? Fourteen years is a long time to invest in this interesting question, and Miss Manners hopes that you have a substitute topic ready.
One of you has been reading too many package labels, where the number of calories is kept small by keeping down the definition of a portion. Such as on the carton of double chocolate fudge ice cream, where it says "Calories per serving, 20. Serving size, 1/4 teaspoon."
One kernel does not constitute a legitimate helping of popcorn. It is properly taken by the (repeated) handful. The sanitary argument is irrelevant. If one of you believes that the other is spreading disease in the popcorn bowl, the solution is to say, "Honey, please go wash your hands."
DEAR MISS MANNERS: On the way to my wife's 30th class reunion, she requested that when I am introduced to someone and asked if I remember meeting them, she wanted me to answer yes regardless if I remembered them or not.
It is my belief that when being reintroduced to someone I may have met only once five to 10 years ago, if I don't remember them, I should politely tell them no. My wife thinks it's rude. I believe in telling the truth. What is the right thing to do?
GENTLE READER: Perhaps schooling accustomed you and your wife to true-false tests, but fortunately, real life offers more choices. You could have smiled broadly and said nothing. You could have peered at the nametag and said, "Let me see if I'm right." You could have said, "How could anyone forget you?"
By the way, "Do you remember me?" is a rude and self-defeating question. Miss Manners has a more pointed question, one that you should have asked your wife:
"They're your classmates -- aren't you going to jump in and help me out? Or are you just going to stand there, leaving me looking foolish?"
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My senior prom is this weekend, and I need some help. My tuxedo will have a cummerbund, but I am not sure how it should be worn (i.e. whether the pleats should face up or down). I have heard several opinions on this, but nobody seems to agree. Which way is correct?
GENTLE READER: The cummerbund pleats should open at the top, and Miss Manners hopes that the traditional explanation will not put you off: Gentlemen desperate for ashtrays would use them to conceal their cigarette refuse. How they avoided setting themselves on fire, she cannot tell you.