DEAR MISS MANNERS: My boyfriend and I were sitting at our kitchen table having a beer the other night. He accidentally knocked his beer over, spilling some out onto the table before it could be turned upright.
I was absolutely shocked when he proceeded to loudly suck up the spilled beer from the table.
My face apparently showed my shock. A long argument then ensued over the questionable appropriateness of his action and my reaction.
Can you please help me to better articulate why sucking up a spilled drink from a table is just flat wrong?
GENTLE READER: Try explaining that any behavior that would be considered offensive in a dog is also offensive in a human being (although you needn't alarm your pet because the reverse is not necessarily true).
Miss Manners suggests that you head off further trouble by informing your beau that just as he is barred from licking the table when he is thirsty, he is also barred from chewing your slippers when he is hungry.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Can you please tell me if there was once a napkin-fold rule to let your host know whether or not you enjoyed the meal by leaving your napkin folded toward or away from the rim of the plate?
GENTLE READER: Thus enabling the hosts to run around the table afterwards to check whether their guests praised or panned the meal?
Where, Miss Manners wonders, would you get such an idea?
The proper way to inform your hosts that you enjoyed the meal is to thank them, both at the time and the next day in a letter. There is no way to register dissatisfaction.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My brother is in the Army and just got sent overseas. I plan on having him in my wedding. I got an e-mail from him stating. "I am wearing my Class As in your wedding."
I am very proud of my brother but feel that it's "our day" (my fiance and me) and not all about him showing off his outfit. We have other friends in the wedding who are in the Navy, and we don't want them in their Class A's either.
I told my bother that my fiance and I decided that we would like him to be consistent with everyone else in the wedding party and dress the same as the other guys, in tuxes. He then told me I was being disrespectful by telling him he can't wear his Class As, that they are to be worn to show that he has fought for our country and he proudly displays that.
Am I being a bridezilla by telling him to dress in a tux?
GENTLE READER: You sure are.
The classic sign of a bridezilla is to regard her wedding as an occasion for showing off, for which potential rivals must be squelched. A proper bride regards her wedding as a solemn yet festive occasion that involves two families and their friends, such as they are.
Miss Manners does acknowledge that you may specify formal dress for the wedding and hope for the best. But first you must educate yourself on the subject: The Class A military uniform IS formal dress.