Florida vis­i­tor prefers to read

The Dallas Morning News - - Comics&puzzles - AN­DREWS MCMEEL SYN­DI­CA­TION

Dear Miss Man­ners: When we go to my wife’s sis­ter’s house in Florida for two weeks in the win­ter, she thinks I should spend all my free time in­side in front of the TV with them. That is their main en­ter­tain­ment most days.

My wife has no prob­lem do­ing this. She is not happy that last year I spent so lit­tle time with them in front of the TV. To me, if you are with fam­ily, then let’s do fam­ily stuff: games, cof­fee, talk time etc. Can’t do much talk­ing when the TV is go­ing.

They have a great screened-in porch with a pool that is heated. A great view of stuff go­ing on. Great seat­ing with nice chairs and ta­ble. I do lots of read­ing on the porch. I love read­ing and do 30 books a year, so it isn’t some­thing I just do there.

Should I waste great warm weather eight hours a day in front of the TV or just an hour or two?

Gen­tle Reader: If this were about young­sters pass­ing their lives star­ing at screens, Miss Man­ners would say that it was im­per­a­tive to call in the adults. How sad that this is about adults.

You have pre­sum­ably tried pry­ing your rel­a­tives away with sug­ges­tions of games or other fam­ily ac­tiv­i­ties. So all Miss Man­ners can hope to do is to res­cue you. With your host­ess putting in full days watch­ing tele­vi­sion, the house­hold is prob­a­bly not run­ning en­tirely smoothly. As a longterm guest and rel­a­tive, it would be kind of you to of­fer to help. Many such of­fers, such as run­ning er­rands and gar­den­ing, would take you out into the sun­shine.

Dear Miss Man­ners: My brother is getting mar­ried this year for the fifth time. How much do I spend on a gift?

Gen­tle Reader: Tra­di­tion­ally, presents are given only for first wed­dings, but try telling that to se­rial bridal cou­ples. Of course, there is noth­ing against do­ing so any­way if one is so in­clined. If you are, Miss Man­ners can only ad­mire your op­ti­mism. How­ever, there have never been any rules about how much to spend.

Dear Miss Man­ners: I of­ten have busi­ness col­leagues stay with me in my home when they are in town for meet­ings. Some­times there are mul­ti­ple peo­ple, such as when the main col­league brings a stu­dent, as­sis­tant or tech­ni­cian.

These peo­ple may be ro­man­ti­cally in­volved with each other, but I don’t know them well enough to be aware of it. Some­times there seems to be some bor­der­line re­la­tion­ship and/or I’m just not clear about it.

I have two spare bed­rooms, and of course I don’t care if they share a room or if they want two sep­a­rate ones. I just don’t know how to show them to their room(s) with­out as­sum­ing one way or an­other. “Here are two spare rooms, do as you will” isn’t re­ally ap­pro­pri­ate, nor is danc­ing around a sim­ple ques­tion. I’d ap­pre­ci­ate some words to use that will nei­ther make me seem like a prude nor em­bar­rass un­at­tached col­leagues.

Gen­tle Reader: Give them the two rooms, and stay out of the hall­way.

JU­DITH MARTIN miss­man­[email protected]

MISS MAN­NERS

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