DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I have a perpetual disagreement about who should say something first when a person bites her/his tongue at the dinner table and then exclaims out loud in a most jarring way.
He thinks the companion should offer sympathy to the tongue-biter first, and then the tongue-biter can apologize for disrupting the table. I think the opposite. What do you think? This crops up more often than you might expect and has become a wedge between us.
GENTLE READER: It comes up quite a bit more often than Miss Manners would think, if it troubles you enough to write to her about it. (What are you putting in the food?) But since it does, the tongue-biter should go first -- presuming from your description that the disruption is of a nature to require an apology.
Miss Manners recognizes that this gives the biter less time to recover before speaking, and wonders if, given the large amount of practice your husband is getting, he might not devote some time to toning down his reaction.