Exercise kindness in review writing
Dear Miss Manners: How do you write a fivestar review about an awful experience?
Gentle Reader: Why would you want to? Or are you hoping that the review will be so brilliant that it will be considered fivestar, even if the restaurant itself is terrible?
Miss Manners is certain that even in this current world, where everything is liked and rated, the critics themselves are generally not — at least not until the rowdy and unsavory comment section.
To avoid becoming a victim of that, she advocates fairness. Candor is allowed; meanness is not. “Hygiene does not seem to be a priority at Cafe Bon Chance,” for example, is preferable to, “Our waiter doesn’t seem to have bathed since the Carter administration.”
Dear Miss Manners: Is it reasonable to ask visiting children to help mine clean up the toys that were taken out during a play date (especially when it’s a big mess)?
Our normal rule with our children is that toys must be put away before taking out others. I would like either to ask that child guests observe this or to ask them to help clean up toys before they leave. Play dates are valuable, but is the price for them cleaning up an overwhelming mess ourselves?
Is this reasonable, or do we need to make a better effort of making numerous toys unavailable prior to play dates?
Gentle Reader: Guests are generally expected to clean up after themselves. But if yours are small and need to be coerced into doing so — to the best of their abilities — Miss Manners will allow encouragement. Leave 15 minutes before the end of the play date to announce, “OK, everyone, time to clean up! How many toys can you put away in 30 seconds? Woolworth, you are in charge of making sure that everything goes in the right place. Ready? Go!”
Expectations can be low here, but telling Woolworth that he is responsible for any extra cleanup when his guests are gone might encourage him to help with the coercion.