DEAR MISS MANNERS: I stepped out of line with a very dear friend. I honestly believe she didn’t see my rudeness because of her highly forgiving nature, but it’s been bugging me to no end and I feel I should apologize.
We see each other at church each Sunday, often text, and sometimes call, but almost never have time for one-on-one meetings. My question: To extend my apology, should I call, send a text or write a handwritten note (which I like the sound of, but seems quite formal)?
Or should I try to see her alone during the week to apologize face-to-face, which would be tricky to orchestrate? Or is there an option I have not considered?
GENTLE READER: People have a funny idea nowadays about formality. The thought seems to be that “casual” means virtuous, and “formal” means standoffish, if not snobbish and heartless.
Actually, formality connotes seriousness. That is why formal clothes are worn at weddings. (Well, Miss Manners knows that it’s really because it is most couples’ only chance at a splashy occasion, but the idea remains.)
If you want to show that your feelings are serious, write a letter. A verbal apology is likely to be interrupted by her brushing aside the necessity for it.