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

I’m Sorry For Your Loss, But Quit Asking for Money!

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a dear friend who is only available to speak with me late at night, around the time I am having something to eat. It has come up that she doesn’t approve of my eating while on the phone. I understand, but the alternative is that I would call her back later, which she also doesn’t want me to do.

I am hungry, distracted and need to eat something, so I am torn between eating or talking with her. How should I handle this?

Oh, and I am not in need of losing weight, so that is why I don’t see this as an opportunity to do so.

GENTLE READER: While Miss Manners would never have jumped to that conclusion, you now have her wondering about the timing of these conversations and how long it takes you to digest.

Would not the logical solution be to pick a time that is mutually satisfactory? Late enough for your friend, but after you have had time to eat? She suggests that you start setting some parameters: “9 p.m. is when I have my muffin break. Perhaps you can call at 9:15.”