DEAR MISS MANNERS: When saying hello and goodbye to my friends, I often give them a quick hug. If my friend is with someone else that I do not know well, I would feel awkward giving that person a hug, too.
In that case, is it better to not hug anybody, so that I don’t treat people unequally?
GENTLE READER: Etiquette does not require one to parcel out one’s affections equally, and, Miss Manners hastens to add, social systems that lack a sense of humor -- morality, for example -- actively object to doing so.
The acquaintance merits no more than a handshake, while the friend can be greeted with a handshake or hug as circumstances and inclinations permit.