DEAR MISS MANNERS: You probably won't even consider this letter, but I don't mind. I started this school year with great optimism, hoping to avoid any drama, and it seems to have backfired on me.
I love science. The year before I made sure that those were the only kinds of classes that I was going to get and I did get my classes only to end up falling for the teacher teaching one of my classes, Biology 2.
He's six years older than me, and he seems to be the ideal man for any girl. I fall in deeper as the days go by but I understand that there can be nothing between us, that it is impossible because he and I have our separate lives and goals, we are going in opposite directions. I know that what I feel is fake, I know that it's a crush, but I doubt it because crushes don't last a whole year and when I am with him I'm really happy.
Is it really OK for me to feel this way about my teacher? I would like to have your opinion.
GENTLE READER: Nevertheless, you are correct that this letter is one that Miss Manners should not consider. From the etiquette point of view, how you feel is your business as long as you behave yourself.
But heck, lovelorn advisers often presume to dispense etiquette advice. No doubt Miss Manners' advice to the lovelorn will be of the same quality.
You cannot, of course, embarrass your teacher -- and probably endanger his job -- by flirting with him. But as you love science, it would seem reasonable of you to become a biologist. If you work really hard at it and win the Nobel Prize and return to campus to tell this teacher that you owe it all to him, Miss Manners promises that he will find you irresistible. Presuming that by that time, he has not acquired a wife and six children.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My wife and I frequently eat at restaurants. It is common for waiters -- or even the manager -- to ask during or after the meal whether we like the food. Sometimes, when the food is not good, I say so. What usually follows is an overblown show of concern that I find disingenuous and unproductive. Eager to avoid this sort of scene, I often lie and say "everything is fine," even when it isn't.
This works well, but my wife and I are expecting our first daughter soon, and I don't like the idea of casually lying in front of her once she is old enough to understand.
What is a polite, truthful way of answering the question "How do you like the food?" without instigating an overblown response?
GENTLE READER: "It is satisfactory, thank you."
Presumably this is truthful, because you are eating the food, and if it were unsatisfactory, you should have sent it back. Such a tepid comment will expose the question for what it is -- brazen fishing for compliments.