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

Must I Stop and Talk When I’m in a Hurry?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was married for more than 50 years and have been widowed for two. I wonder how to refer to certain things and people.

We lived in “our house” and raised “our children.” I still live in the same place, and of course have the same children. But is it now “my house” or still “our house”? Are they “my children” or “our children”? Or are both acceptable?

Just because he is gone does not mean he was not an important partner and part of my life.

GENTLE READER: There must be someone in your life who thinks otherwise, and is helpfully suggesting that you “move on.”

Miss Manners gives you her permission to ignore such pressure. Indeed, the children and house were joint efforts and you may refer to them as such. You may continue to wear your wedding ring if you wish, and use your formal name (i.e., Mrs. Guiseppe McCann), if that is what you were previously called.

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