DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was checking out at my local supermarket when the woman behind me noticed the price tag on the wine I was buying.
“I’m sure it’s worth $4.99!” she exclaimed. When I turned to look at her, she explained, “I’ve studied wine for 40 years.” She added, by way of consolation, “I’m sure it has alcohol in it.”
I said nothing, but tried to exchange looks with the checkout attendant, thinking the rudeness of the remarks was self-evident. Might something have been said? If so, what?
GENTLE READER: The rudeness was indeed self-evident, as would have been the urge to respond “Please mind your own business.”
Miss Manners prefers a less direct (and more mannerly) approach: An appreciative laugh would have deflated the woman by demonstrating an indifference to the criticism. But if you lack the energy, or the acting ability, aloofness will do.