DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it acceptable to wave at someone once you have made awkward eye contact? Or should you just wink and hit 'em with a terrible pickup line? Any help you can give me would be much appreciated, as this happens to me quite often. I have tried both options, and my counselor seems to think the pickup line is what gets them.
Also, what is your opinion on a guy's height? Because I have been told that once you get over 6 feet tall, you get more ladies, yet that is not occurring to me.
GENTLE READER: Huh? Presuming the best, Miss Manners hopes that you are simply seeking acceptable ways to start a dialogue with strangers of the opposite sex in order to get to know them better.
First, she strongly encourages you (and your "counselor") to stop thinking of ladies as something to "get."
Actually, there is no "second." Try thinking of women as actual people who enjoy real and interesting conversation -- not weird hand gestures, offensive or half-baked lines, or exclusive physical fetishes. Approach them as such and you should be fine -- or will learn otherwise quickly.
Miss Manners assures you that she has no opinion on height other than its convenience for out-of-reach items and further wonders how you plan on adjusting yours now that it has occurred to you.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: We are staying in a vacation rental for a month, and we had guests fly in to join us for four nights. Their flight home was scheduled to leave at 5 p.m., so we needed to drive them to the airport at 2 p.m., which gave us time to enjoy the rest of the day on our own.
Their flight was delayed by 2 1/2 hours. We learned about this delay a good hour before we needed to leave for the airport. How should they have handled this delay?
Could they say they are delayed and expect us to put the rest of our day on hold, waiting to take them to the airport?
Could they have not told us about the delay and let us take them to the airport, allowing us to enjoy the rest of our day?
GENTLE READER: Or your guests could admit to being delayed and offer to get themselves to the airport. You would still be left with a decision to make -- delay your plans or take them up on their offer -- but your guests would not have had to lie in order to be gracious.
If this plan is not forthcoming, you also have the option to say, "I am so sorry, but we made plans for the rest of the day. Could we help arrange for some other means of transportation?"
But perhaps the real problem here is with the guests themselves. Yours have seemingly done nothing wrong. But the fact that the enjoyment of your day seems to be predicated on whether or not you have to spend another partial afternoon with them is sad. Miss Manners suggests that in the future, you vacation with friends who are a bit more entertaining. Two and a half hours' worth, to be exact.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, email@example.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)