The Columbus Dispatch

Host spills beans before reader has chance to call friend

- Write to Miss Manners at www.missmanner­

Dear Miss Manners: Several months back, I reconnecte­d with an old friend from my hometown whom I had not seen in many years. We both expressed a desire to see each other again the next time I returned to visit family.

Fortunatel­y, COVID travel restrictio­ns have eased, and I was recently able to visit my sister’s home. Shortly after I settled in, my sister posted a photo on social media happily announcing my arrival. She tagged me in the photo (a practice I find presumptuo­us and annoying) and my old friend commented on the picture, wishing me a nice stay.

While I had intended to contact my friend personally, telling him I had arrived and that I was still interested in meeting up, I now felt that since he clearly knew I was in town, he would have extended an invitation or reiterated his desire to get together.

He has not done so, and understand he may be busy or is limiting his social contacts during the pandemic. My sister, however, thinks I should reach out and invite him out for lunch. I am in a quandary as I don’t want to appear pushy.

Was it appropriat­e of me to not pursue a meet-up after my friend’s “Have a nice visit” comment? In the future, when I am visiting from out of town, what is considered proper etiquette for arranging a get-together?

Gentle Reader: It is generally the responsibi­lity of the visitor to inform the locals of their arrival. This should be done by calling friends personally, not by public posts, which are social media’s equivalent of saying “nyah, nyah” — showing unsuspecti­ng friends the events to which they have not been invited.

No doubt, your friend is waiting for your call. And, Miss Manners fears, his comment was disguising hurt feelings or even betraying sarcasm, since you did not reach out as promised but are obviously in town.

He has no way of knowing that your sister posted without your consent, so in his eyes, you were the one doing the “nyah, nyah” and did not want to see him. Please stop this passive cycle and call him.

Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I have been married for over 30 years now. However, my mother-in-law thanks my husband, and not me, when receiving gifts (even in person).

I have not brought this up with my husband, but feel unapprecia­ted, since we are equal wage-earners and jointly decide on family gifts. How should one deal with this situation?

Gentle Reader: Bring it up with your husband: “Your mother does not seem to think that I had anything to do with picking out that silk robe we got her for Christmas. Do you mind mentioning that we both decided on it — or at least giving me shared credit for the next present? Unless you would prefer to undertake the task of picking out gifts for her on your own from now on.”

Miss Manners suggests that you say that last bit sweetly and as a genuine request. She assures you that the threat part will be implicit.

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