Home » Miss Manners: Is asking for a beer glass ‘dreadfully rude’?

Miss Manners: Is asking for a beer glass ‘dreadfully rude’?

by ballyhooglobal.com
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Dear Miss Manners: My wife and I were at an informal outdoor party for a child’s birthday. Right when we arrived, the hosts offered cold bottles of good beer.

If I’m drinking good beer, I like to let it breathe in a glass or even a plastic cup. I accepted a beer from the host, and then — thinking there might be cups available that I just didn’t see — asked for a cup or glass. The host said sure, walked about 10 feet into his kitchen and returned with a glass. The beer tasted wonderful.

But when we got home, my wife told me I was dreadfully rude, and that I should have overlooked my preference for a beer that breathed in consideration of the host. I disagreed, pointing out that if the situation were reversed, I would gladly get a cup or glass for my guests. Who’s right?

There you go, ruining it for the rest of us.

Had you asked that the birthday cake be served on a gold plate, your wife would have had a point: It is impolite to make unreasonable requests of one’s host. Miss Manners does not consider a glass unreasonable — a point that would have been easier to make had you kept to yourself the part about it making the beer taste better.

Dear Miss Manners: I take long walks around my apartment complex every morning. So do many others. Everyone seems to feel obligated to greet each other with “good morning” as they pass, which happens with such great frequency that I am distracted from my pacing and my thoughts.

Most of these people are complete strangers to me, and I want to keep it that way lest I get trapped in many conversations when I am trying to exercise.

Even if Miss Manners were inclined to help you — presumably by stamping out all attempts at casual politeness — would you still not be distracted by the need to growl at each passerby?

A simple nod without breaking your stride will, instead, satisfy the dictates of basic politeness, and seems to run a low risk of creating deep or lasting friendships.

Dear Miss Manners: We invited my child’s classmate to join us for a week at a rental place at the beach. He is a huge eater, as large, growing, football-playing middle school boys tend to be.

I find myself left with some residual resentment because his mom didn’t send him with any spending money, let alone send along some cookies or otherwise offer to contribute something to the cost of the trip.

When I dropped him off, neither she nor he said “thank you.” They got in their car and drove away, never mentioning the trip again. I’m feeling reluctant to include him in the future, though I feel bad for this unkindness.

Not issuing a future invitation is not an unkindness — nor is assuming, as they did, that the host will provide for the guest. Though Miss Manners agrees that failing to say “thank you” is a justifiable reason not to extend more invitations.

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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