Birth­day girl right to yield to fussy friend

The Buffalo News - - LIFE & ARTS - BY JU­DITH MARTIN

Dear Miss Man­ners: When I in­vited some friends and their sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers to cel­e­brate my birth­day, I asked peo­ple what date and time would be best, and re­served a nice restau­rant based on their avail­abil­ity.

A week be­fore the event, a friend who lives the far­thest away called and sug­gested a dif­fer­ent place. She said the orig­i­nal place was “pricey,” and that it would be far for her to travel (over an hour). She en­cour­aged me to pick some­where 30 to 40 min­utes from her.

In the end, I did cave and pick a dif­fer­ent restau­rant, be­cause it was im­por­tant to me that my life­long friend be present to cel­e­brate. How­ever, I can’t help but be an­noyed with her. I have gladly trav­eled over an hour in the past to lo­cales of her choos­ing, in­clud­ing to her birth­day. If it’s truly too ex­pen­sive for her to have din­ner with friends, she could or­der ap­pe­tiz­ers only, split the bill with her boyfriend or sim­ply not come.

So what should have been done here? Was it wrong of her to wran­gle the host into ac­com­mo­dat­ing her per­sonal con­cerns? Or was it wrong of me to choose some­where out of a guest’s price range?

They were not your guests. Were you the host of this party, as well as the guest of honor, Miss Man­ners would have sup­ported your in­dig­na­tion that a guest tried to renegotiate the terms.

But you were only ask­ing your friend to buy her­self din­ner while pay­ing trib­ute

Gen­tle Reader:

to you. That she wanted to go some­place she could af­ford seems em­i­nently rea­son­able.

Of the three cost-sav­ing sug­ges­tions you men­tion, Miss Man­ners would have cho­sen the third.

Dear Miss Man­ners:

I am a 73-year-old man. Look­ing at me, I am ob­vi­ously some­where in the 70s age range. I of­ten en­counter much younger peo­ple who ad­dress me as “young man.”

I do not un­der­stand why they do it. We both know

I am not young. Do they think I feel bet­ter to be so ad­dressed?

For ex­am­ple, when I had hip re­place­ment surgery re­cently, I was at­tended to very pro­fes­sion­ally af­ter­ward by a phys­i­cal ther­a­pist, of ap­par­ent age mid-30s or so, who de­serves great credit for ev­ery­thing she did in help­ing me to re­cover and re­turn to what I con­sider to be a very vig­or­ous 73-year-old life­style.

But she keeps call­ing me “young man.” Maybe it shouldn’t bother me, but it does. How should I han­dle this sit­u­a­tion?

Gen­tle Reader:

By ask­ing the ther­a­pist po­litely to stop, be­cause yes, she does think that this makes you feel bet­ter.

Our so­ci­ety has the ap­palling con­cept that it is em­bar­rass­ing to age, and that we there­fore have to keep up the elab­o­rate pre­tense that ev­ery­one seems young. You are not the only adult who finds this dis­re­spect­ful. If you ex­plain this gen­tly, you will be do­ing a fa­vor not only for other clients, but also for her, as she ages.

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