DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am pretty small, only 5 feet 1 inch and 115 pounds. However, I have unusually huge breasts. I would like to know how to respond to the comments and questions, such as "Wow, how much do they weigh? What is your bra size?" or other such things.
Also, how do I let people (mostly men) know that no matter how much they talk to my breasts, they have never responded.
GENTLE READER: In such cases silence is best, accompanied by a frosty look. But since Miss Manners gathers that even those who ask you questions are not likely to observe a frosty look, she suggests going above their heads, as it were, to say "I beg your pardon" before turning away.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My younger brother and I both have big smiles, medium skin tone, and dark brown hair and eyes. Most people would never know to look at us that we don't share DNA (he's adopted).
When we're out together, people often comment that we look alike. I never know quite how to respond. Just saying "thanks" seems to be a lie by omission, as the speaker clearly intends to be commenting on our genetic connection.
But saying something like, "Which is funny, given that we're not genetically related at all" seems like a rude way to induce the truth. Can you recommend a better response?
GENTLE READER: Lies? The ruthless truth?
Who is trailing you and probing into your genetic makeup? The FBI? Interpol?
Or -- if Miss Manners dares suggest it -- could these be trite, offhand remarks by people just making conversation?
Apparently you and your brother do look alike. Lots of unrelated people do. Each of you should say he is flattered to be thought to look like the other, and then leave it at that.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work as a hotel's chief concierge and have always tried to be proper in our dealings with our guests. We were taken to task regarding the use of "folks" as a form of address, and I understand the concern. But we have yet to be presented with an alternative!
The English language just doesn't work sometimes. How do you greet a couple when they approach the Concierge desk? Or a group of three that are not of the same sex? (If it's all male, then "Good morning, gentlemen" or "Good morning, ladies" if they are women works just fine) -- but what of our couple -- "Good morning Mr. & Mrs?" I don't think so. Almost every other language has a word (m'sieur dame, signora signore) even Japanese has "minnasama."
So I pose the question to you -- what do you do? Oh yes, great if you know their name "Good morning, Mr. & Mrs. McGillicuddy" but if you don't -- and there is our dilemma, Miss Manners, in a nutshell.
GENTLE READER: The English language works fine -- you just have to use more of it. "Good morning, madam; good morning, sir." Or in the case of two and one, "Good morning madam; good morning, gentlemen." Miss Manners points out that the added effort will give you the opportunity to direct a smile at each of them.