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In Greek mythology, Agamemnon appeases the goddess Artemis for a serious etiquette breach (bragging) by making a human sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia. He does this without consulting his wife, Clytemnestra, who, upon his return from the Trojan War, returns the favor by stabbing him in his bath. Their son Orestes then murders Clytemnestra in retaliation. Eventually, the Greek gods have to step in to break the cycle of vendetta before it depopulates the Peloponnese.
Miss Manners realizes that your situation is not quite as drastic, but the principle is the same. If you answer the chocolates with baked goods, you will only prolong things. Send them a letter covering both the chocolates and the original help.Suspension of manners DEAR MISS MANNERS: Several family members were casually talking after our Thanksgiving dinner. I asked my husband if he would get me some coffee (he was standing, I was sitting). My brother-in-law piped up and corrected me with “Please.” Should he have corrected me? I’m 58 and felt like a 2-year-old.
At what year did you decide that it was no longer necessary to be polite? And when did your brother-in-law decide that he no longer needed to be polite to you?
Miss Manners should not have to tell you that being related does not justify suspending politeness. You have discovered that for yourself.When death is an opportunity
Mourning etiquette was historically elaborate and burdensome on those who did not work to support themselves. But it always recognized that after some point, business still needed to get done, whatever the private feelings of the mourners.
Miss Manners trusts that you will not read that to mean that business always comes first, or that it is unilaterally in your power to affect the good you hope for. You could write a note to the heirs explaining that, “When you are ready to think about the future of the business, I would appreciate the chance to talk with you.”
After that, you will have to be patient. People in that position have more than enough to remind them to “get on with their lives.”© Universal Uclick 12/04