Miss Manners

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I find it extremely rude for people to text before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m. unless it is an emergency.

Most people leave their phones on in case of emergencies. When a text is received, the alert tone will go off and keep going off until answered. This usually wakes me up when I should be sleeping. I've gotten texts at all hours of the night and very early morning. These are messages that could have waited until a more appropriate time.

How do I tell people, without seeming mean, that I find it to be inconsiderate and inappropriate to text at these hours? I had a friend state that they are up and at work at 6 a.m., so they start texting then. Again, that's inconsiderate. What's your opinion?

GENTLE READER: That email is a lot quieter, and text-alert settings are easily changed. Miss Manners sees nothing mean about politely asking your friends to text you during (your) daytime hours unless there is an emergency. Of course, you have only yourself to blame for the quality of your friends if they consider "I'm bored! Making waffles" an emergency.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a 6-year-old son and my husband's brother has a 1-year-old boy. We live in two different countries. Still, we meet every year when we visit my mother-in-law, as they live with her.

My problem is that they named their son my boy's name. I was so devastated to hear this, and I gently told his wife how I feel. She was OK and told me that she will pick a different name. But her husband and elder daughter and even my mother-in-law won't change.

Both kids always get confused to hear the name, and I feel so sad every time I have to tell my son, "It's not you." But it seems that they are least bothered. My mother-in-law always is on their side and doesn't care about my son at all.

Last vacation I didn't stay there for long, as I cannot stand the ego of these people. Am I overreacting? I am learning to ignore and live with it. Still, please let me know how would you handle a situation like this.

GENTLE READER: As the cousin is already a year old, it's unlikely that his family will change what they call him to appease relatives they see only once a year.

However, Miss Manners has heard that children often acquire nicknames. Perhaps you can invent one for your nephew -- a kind one that will not reflect your low opinion of your in-laws, but one that will catch on? Or perhaps you can persuade your son that it would be fun to use a foreign version of his name when he travels.

In addition, if you could somehow convince your son (and yourself) that the name overlap is an homage -- and not the insult and inconvenience you see it to be -- it would be a valuable lesson in diplomacy. And also do much to avoid a lifelong hostility with a cousin he rarely sees.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter is in kindergarten and was invited to a "friendship party" hosted by a classmate at a martial arts school. Should she bring a gift?

GENTLE READER: Yes. Friendship.

(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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