The Washington Post

I was right: Friends’ famous acquaintan­ce is immoral, unethical. Can I gloat?


Dear Miss

Manners: For years, our friends Cody and Nicole would often talk admirably about a high-profile person they knew. However, I found the descriptio­ns of this man and his actions to be unethical and immoral.

At the time, when I expressed my dismay, they treated me in a condescend­ing manner, saying I didn’t know how business was done. Time has gone by, and sure enough, this man is on trial, and it’s worse than I thought. Cody and Nicole act as if they never imagined the truth; I think they’re just surprised he’s been called out. I find myself disgusted with them.

My husband still wants to socialize with them; I don’t. If I do see them, I’d like to say “I told you so,” then ask why they excused his behavior for so long and how they reconcile that with their regular church attendance. I’m unreligiou­s and find them to be hypocrites.

The moral question of whether their behavior can be forgiven is outside the purview of etiquette, but your proposed solution is not. If you have decided to end the friendship, then your sweeping denunciati­on of religion will certainly accomplish that — though not with etiquette’s approval.

Dear Miss Manners: I am a

woman working in a predominan­tly male field. Over the past 17 years of my employment, whenever a female co-worker is pregnant, we usually do a baby shower, whether at the workplace or sponsored by someone in their home.

A close work friend asked me whether I would help her throw such a baby shower for another co-worker. We issued invitation­s to all of our female colleagues, but to our dismay, we had only four people accept.

I sponsored the gathering at my home and spent a lot of money, because I felt bad about the low attendance and worried the party would be disappoint­ing.

The following Monday, I learned that the reason nobody attended was because there had already been a shower for this coworker a few weeks before ours, and they all attended that one.

I was speechless. Not only did my friend and I not make the cut for the first shower, but the mother-to-be also allowed us to throw her a second. Any thoughts on how to handle this?

At this point, little good will come of trying to determine whether your co-worker actively took advantage of you, or whether she was paralyzed by embarrassm­ent when she realized you did not know about the first shower.

True, punishing pregnant people does not appear to be going out of fashion, but Miss Manners recommends a more profession­al approach. Next time someone at the office is expecting, say: “That’s wonderful! I’m so happy for them. But perhaps it’s past time for us to leave baby showers to family and friends, where they belong.”

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on

washington­ You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanner­ You can also follow her @Realmissma­nners.

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