DEAR MISS MANNERS: They say it’s better to have hooked and lost than to have never hooked at all. We all search for our soul mates. We all look for someone to grow old with.
One day I hope to sit in my rocking chair holding the hand of the girl I love and know that I lived a full life. I want to know that I took chances and grabbed onto every opportunity that came my way.
Several months ago, I met a beautiful blond girl in Rome. We had a connection that was much deeper than anything I’ve ever felt before. She was intelligent, kind and classy.
In a world where values are often thrown overboard, she showed me something rare. I met an angel that morning at the Vatican.
There are millions of fish in the sea. I know this girl was an American, but I don’t know exactly where she’s from. Social media allow us to cast a bigger net than any other time in history. I have the resources to make some pretty big waves, but I can’t do it all by myself. Do I cast that net, or do I turn my boat around and find someplace else to fish?
GENTLE READER: You had better hope that the angel in question enjoys fishing as much as you do.
There is nothing inherently wrong with using reasonable available means to locate her to see if she feels as you do. In a less technological time, it used to be called “asking around,” and it was done in social circles rather than on social media. We change with the times.
However, Miss Manners implores you to refrain from continuing this unflattering analogy of courtship to hooking fish. It will not benefit you in any social form.
Art guard shouldn’t critique your face
DEAR MISS MANNERS: While I was visiting a major European museum recently, a guard told me that I looked angry.
I had not made eye contact with the guard, nor did I ask for his advice. He said that my facial expression made him think I was angry.
I believe it is not the guard’s function to comment on what he perceived to be my emotional state. When he made his comment, I was not near any paintings, nor was I even talking. I think it is the guard’s job to protect the paintings, not act as my psychologist.
As it happens, I had just fallen off of a bike and was in pain, not angry. Some people think it was within the guard’s role to comment on my facial expression. I disagree.
GENTLE READER: It is not even the guard’s job to critique the art, much less the people who come to see it. If he was worried that your facial expression meant that you were in severe distress, he could have asked if everything was all right. If he thought it suggested that you had ill intentions toward the art, he should have kept an eye on you in case you produced a spray can.
Miss Manners considers it a loathsome intrusion to make assumptions about the emotional states of strangers, typically demanding that they go around smiling. Do the others whom you have consulted really believe that the way to spread happiness is to complain about passing faces?
Judith Martin writes the Miss Manners column with help from her son, Nicholas Ivor Martin, and her daughter, Jacobina Martin. Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, MissManners.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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