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Miss Manners: Husband won’t apologize for hogging the covers all night

by ballyhooglobal.com
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Dear Miss Manners: Should a person apologize if they are unaware they did anything wrong? While staying with a friend, my husband stole the covers all night long. When I told him what he’d done the next morning, he said tersely, “I didn’t know,” but didn’t apologize.

When I said I’d apologize if the situation were reversed, he said he didn’t need to because he was unaware of his wrongdoing. Who is right?

Ah, the old “but I didn’t mean to” defense. To which Miss Manners would say, “Well, I certainly hope not.”

If you meant to steal the covers (or step on my foot or hit me with your car), this would be a very different conversation — possibly one with criminal repercussions.

Accidents are still subject to apology because they have consequences for the victim. They should be accompanied by vows to be more aware in the future — as impossible as that may be for the perpetrator to guarantee.

Dear Miss Manners: I work at a popular fast-food restaurant. I am proud to say it’s one of the cleanest and most hospitable places I’ve ever worked. We allow people to ask for unlimited sauces and refills at the counter, but provide them easy access to napkins, utensils and other condiments in the dining room. Guests are expected to clear their tables of trash, but we wipe down the tables and chairs.

My issue is with guests who help themselves to a 3-inch stack of napkins, don’t use all of them, then leave them on the table even though they cleared everything else. Same with the sauces/condiments: They will grab a handful, not use them all, but also not throw them away. They should take this stuff home, because we have to throw it away for health reasons.

It’s like they think the next person who sits down will say, “Lucky me, there’s already a stack of napkins here from the last person! I’m sure they’re fine. Let’s use them.” What about the ketchup packet their toddler had in their mouth but left on the table? Is the next guest supposed to use that, too? The other side of the coin is the guest who stocks their home pantry with any “free” condiments, but that’s another letter.

My PSA is: Only take what you need!

Your PSA is noted. Perhaps the restaurant would consider posting a sign that reads, “Please only take as many napkins and condiments as you need to enjoy your meal.” Miss Manners would find it ironic if they declined, saying it would be a waste of paper.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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