Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Do I Have To Dress Like a Slob, Now That I’m Retired?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What should I do when I dine out at a restaurant I’ve been to before, and the server brings me whichever beverage I ordered last time? What if I want a different drink?

It’s as if the server is saying, “I’m an excellent server, because I memorized your beverage preference.” So I’d hate to crush their accomplishment. But sometimes I like to mix it up.

How should I politely request a different beverage? Or should I grin and suck it up ... through a straw?

GENTLE READER: A kinder way to interpret this is that the server is flattering you by remembering your previous order. So while Miss Manners does not expect you to down the wrong drink, she would like you to acknowledge this:

“How kind of you to remember. But you know, I’m in a different mood today, and I’d like to have one of your wonderful Pisco sours.”