Order your copy of Minding Miss Manners now.

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

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was in a relationship with someone, but not living together. I have a key to her place, and recently locked the door when I left after a visit, so she would not have to get out of the chair she was sitting in with her dogs. She yelled at me not to lock her door, that she could lock her own door.

Was I wrong trying to be courteous and lock the door behind me? I told her she could have her key back -- that way, I wouldn’t be able to lock the door behind me, since she thought it was very rude. She said that wasn’t the point and to keep the key.

Was I being rude? What is your opinion?

GENTLE READER: That this whole argument might well be more metaphorical than literal. Miss Manners suggests you find out.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I went to a takeout restaurant and took my finished order to a bench to eat it. They had given me another item, probably more expensive than I ordered, and something I like quite a bit. I went back, showed them the item and the error, which they acknowledged.

However, they were unwilling to give me the correct order without taking back the error, which was now unsuitable to be served again. I said no, that they should give me my original order without demanding the other.

I suspect it was a special order, and that there was embarrassment about failing to give the proper buyer his or her order. I prevailed. Was I right, or should I have surrendered the salmon misoyaki?

GENTLE READER: Online retail giants have spoiled us. Not only have they made consumers think that anything more than free, two-day shipment is outrageous, but they have also warped our thinking by giving us the occasional freebie in place of a return -- when the reality is that the transaction is inconsequential to them and not worth the trouble.

Now we have come to expect it. However, in the small business world, a retailer’s mistake does not cancel out the need to hand over the goods. That is the nature of a return. The noun is also a verb, and it requires action.

Miss Manners is therefore afraid that you should have surrendered the salmon -- even while she cringes at the image of the rightful recipient receiving prehandled food.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there a polite way to ask someone their name if you forgot it? I have found myself in this awkward situation numerous times and never know what to say.

GENTLE READER: “I am so sorry -- I know that we have met before, but please tell me your name again. I’m Jacinda Wilsome.”

Miss Manners assures you, however, that you can only get away with this tactic once before you start to test the person’s patience -- and powers of forgiveness.

(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.)