San Francisco Chronicle

Snowstorm brings mixed messages from friend

- By Judith Martin

Dear Miss Manners:

A major snowstorm was due to arrive. My friend called me and offered for me to come over to her house if I had a power failure, saying she had an extra bedroom and a generator, so her home would be warm. I thanked her.

The next day, she called to remind me of her generous offer, and added that I should bring my little dog with me, too. She said, “I really mean it. Please do not sit in a cold home.” I thanked her for the offer.

Well, the next day the blizzard started, the phone rang, and it was her husband, who never has called me. He said hello, and then: “I know you were invited, but do not drive in a blizzard” (which I wouldn’t, anyway). He continued, “If your power goes off, just cuddle with your dog until it comes back on. Don’t leave the house to come here.”

I felt terrible. He called back in a second and said, “It’s not that we don’t want you here; we just want you safe.”

Gentle Reader: Your friend doesn’t need a generator. Her house must be warm enough just from exchanges with her husband.

Such as, “You said what? You call her right back and tell her she is welcome to come here!”

Whether or not this exchange was preceded by the husband’s saying, “It would be crazy for her to drive in this blizzard. It’s too dangerous,” Miss Manners cannot say. She would prefer to think so, and advises you to do the same. You could probably find out if you compliment­ed your friend on the thoughtful­ness of her husband, but that seems like a risky idea.

Send questions to Miss Manners’ website: www. missmanner­; to her email address: dearmiss; or through postal mail: Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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