Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Classified­s - By Ju­dith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Ja­cobina Martin

Dear Miss Man­ners: I’m an old guy who has re­cently started get­ting a lot of tat­toos. I be­long to an ear­lier gen­er­a­tion that gen­er­ally frowned upon tat­toos, but I’ve been in­trigued by them for as long as I can re­mem­ber. I love my new tat­toos and I plan to get a lot more.

It’s easy to deal with com­pli­ments — and I’ve got­ten quite a few. But what can I say to peo­ple who make in­sult­ing com­ments? Do I stare them down? Cut them dead?

I’ve tried vari­a­tions of “I got them for me, not for you,” which works, but some­how lacks the lit­tle kick I’m look­ing for. I don’t want to make a fed­eral case of this, but some­times I just don’t want to let some­thing of­fen­sive get by.

Dear Gen­tle Reader: Try, “Yes, I know they scare some peo­ple. But re­ally, I’m quite harm­less.”

Dear Miss Man­ners: Which is ap­pro­pri­ate when hav­ing an open house for a child?

1. Send pa­per in­vites/an­nounce­ments to those you would like to at­tend?

2. Send them on so­cial me­dia to those you would like to at­tend?

Dear Gen­tle Reader: How old is the child and how big is the house? If your child’s friends are not used to pa­per, you might not get any­one. If you post this on so­cial me­dia, you may get more than the house can hold.

Miss Man­ners sug­gests that you con­sult an ex­pert on the habits of the cir­cle you want to in­vite: your child.

Dear Miss Man­ners: I’ve no­ticed that at check­outs, the clerk of­ten ad­dresses me as “Miss” in a rather dis­mis­sive tone. This only hap­pens when the clerks are young men — never older men, or women of any age, who say “ma’am,” a term of re­spect­ful ad­dress for any woman.

I feel of­fended by “Miss,” but I’m not sure why, or if I should say, “Please ad­dress me as Ma’am or Mrs. Smith.”

I no­tice these same clerks of­ten ad­dress men of any age as “Sir.” Why not “Mr.” to be con­sis­tent, if they are go­ing to call me “Miss”? I think I know why: “Mr.” sounds of­fen­sive. But again, why?

I searched the terms “senorita” vs. “senora,” and see that the trend in Span­ish is to­ward call­ing any adult women “senora” re­gard­less of whether she is mar­ried or not. I’m not Latina, but that ap­peals to me.

I re­al­ize my con­cern may be overly sen­si­tive and triv­ial, but I would love your thoughts. To put things in per­spec­tive, I’m 80 years old, not a young “Miss.”

Per­haps I should just say, “Thanks, Mr.” and grab my gro­ceries and go!

Dear Gen­tle Reader: Do you know why they call you “Miss”?

Because oth­ers whom they have ad­dressed re­spect­fully as “ma’am” have chas­tised them for vi­o­lat­ing the fic­tion that ev­ery­one is young or at least pleased to be taken as such.

Miss Man­ners has been try­ing for years to dis­pel the self-ha­tred that leads peo­ple to think of grow­ing old as shame­ful. She can only ad­vise you not to waste emo­tional en­ergy on how clerks ad­dress you.

Ad­dress your eti­quette ques­tions to Miss Man­ners at her web­site, www.miss­man­ners.com; to her email, dearmiss­man­[email protected] com; or through postal mail to Miss Man­ners, An­drews McMeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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