DEAR MISS MANNERS: In recent months it seems that more and more men are growing facial hair in a variety of styles.
I first noticed this when my parish priest returned from a sabbatical with a somewhat unflattering growth of beard. Many professional athletes have beards and long hair. Television ads depict men of all ages wearing beards. Even TV anchormen and their guests have beards.
Do you have any thoughts about what is behind this craze?
GENTLE READER: Well, it could be aesthetics, admiration for historical figures, a need for disguise, a yearning for variety or any number of things that also motivate ladies to change the way they look. Or inertia — a powerful force that makes for interesting trends.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My son has asked that we not post pictures of our treasured grandbaby on Facebook, a request that we have respected. Neither my son nor my daughter-in-law has a Facebook account.
My problem is, I see that my son’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law post pictures of the baby all the time. They even call her by name.
So, do I tell them about the postings or mind my own business, even knowing how this will upset them when they find out? And they will find out.
GENTLE READER: If they will find out anyway, why invite them to kill the messenger?
If your son and daughter-in-law ask if you have seen these postings, you may say that you didn’t want to get involved, which, whether true or not, is hardly blameworthy. You have been handed a rare case in which the problem will solve itself without your intervention. Miss Manners encourages you to take it.
Remember me, please!
DEAR MISS MANNERS: On many occasions I encounter people I have met five or more times over a one-year period. When I see these people, they say, “Hello, I am such-and-such. Nice to meet you.”
Yes, they are being polite; however, after meeting me five times, don’t you even remember that you have met me? Am I just being over-sensitive?
My response is, “We have met several times. It’s nice to see you.”
If I have said that to you five times or more, wouldn’t you remember? My husband says that I am letting these people make me feel inferior. I personally think they are just rude and snobby. However, I don’t know how to respond to such people.
GENTLE READER: Are you asking Miss Manners why you are not more memorable?
Granted, it is frustrating that these people can’t seem to remember you, but your husband is right, you mustn’t take it to heart. There could be myriad reasons that people are forgetful. Surely you don’t want to hear them, particularly if the explanations involve your relative noteworthiness.
Continue to politely reassure these people that you have indeed met, and then resolve to make more alert acquaintances.
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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