DEAR MISS MANNERS: If I’m asked to wait in an office setting, or while waiting in someone’s home, is it rude of me to get up and look at paintings on the wall or book spines on a bookshelf (not touching or opening the books) in the room where I was instructed to wait? GENTLE READER:
If you have had the opportunity to take the public tour of the receiving rooms of a king or visited an elected official, you may have discerned a pattern in the decoration.
There is a definite bias toward displays that flatter the owner. Whether the state treasury could spring for Berninis and Michelangelos, or had to settle for maps showing territorial boundaries of dubious legality, it was the owner’s fondest hope that his guests, subjects or clients would look around. Miss Manners has no objection, even if the means of modern hosts limit displays to the books they have read, the schools they have attended or the celebrities with whom they have been photographed. She would, however, refrain from pointing out that the Tintoretto is a fake.War on Thanksgiving DEAR MISS MANNERS: And so it begins: the politics of who comes to Thanksgiving dinner. One won’t come unless her dog can come too. One will not come if so-and-so comes. One will not come unless another apologizes for XYZ that was said a few years ago. Then there is the one who has now become vegan and will not come if any animals are on the menu. And one who has finally gotten sober but will not come unless there is no liquor whatsoever.
You can do no more than to invite your relatives, leave it up to them whether or not they will attend, and maintain a pleasant atmosphere. And give thanks that disgruntled people, especially those who wish to exhibit bodily functions — Miss Manners does not want that explained – will be absent.© Universal Uclick 11/13