Q: As a top-tier frequent flier, I get free food and wine from the buy-on-board menu. Flight attendants see my status when they tally the bill, but some want a credit card first.
I would rather not add to other passengers’ misery by announcing my privilege but have found no other clear response to a demand for payment. What would you do?
A: Not conspire with the airlines to protect their customers from knowing the petty details of their class system.
It is tender of you to worry about the chagrin that passengers experience from knowing how crudely comfort and amenities are apportioned by tallying the accumulated money spent, not only on tickets but also on credit card charges and sspent, not only on tickets but also on credit card charges and such. However, those unvalued customers already know the principle. Very likely they have been patiently waiting to board after those holding such honors as “Platinum,” “Gold,” “Silver” and, for all Miss Manners knows, “Silverplate,” “Iron” and “Tin.”
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Miss Manners doubts that knowing that you get a few dollars’ worth of sustenance will add to their misery as much as to their cynicism.
Q: While my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years and I were out celebrating my birthday with our combined family, he ran into some old friends who were dining out at the same place. My boyfriend does not introduce me to people when he stops to talk with them. He tells me he cannot remember their names and does not want to offend them. However, I feel offended that he does not care to include me. Perhaps I’m too soft?
Later, while we were all eating, a woman came over and said she wanted a picture with my boyfriend. I felt like an outsider, since I had no idea who this was. She was laughing and insisting on getting a picture. My daughters and I had to stand up to let him out of the booth. I then helped take the picture, and she was off.
I then asked my boyfriend who she was. He said she was family to his ex-girlfriend but could not remember her name. That was his reasoning for not introducing me. I felt it was very rude. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings by not remembering her name, so he left me out.
What about my feelings? Is it wrong to like to feel honored by him?
A: What about having feelings for someone who has trouble remembering names? Miss Manners does and can rescue the gentleman.
Presumably he remembers your name. And if not, you have a worse problem than the one you reported.
Teach him the trick of saying the name he does know with “May I introduce …?” as if the other person is in the needs-no-introduction category (which doesn’t exist, but never mind that for now).
But wait — why aren’t you rescuing him? You need only stand up and introduce yourself instead of hanging back, feeling insulted. Just remember to keep looking at the stranger, not back at your beau, as you wait for the name to be supplied.
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.