Q: A fraternity formal dance that I attended ended with me cabbing home, alone, and without warning.
After a young man asked me to the dance, I was so looking forward to having a fun time with him and my three best friends, who were also attending with dates. At the dance, my date became so drunk that he retreated to the men’s bathroom with my friend’s date.
After he left to recover in the bathroom, I was still hoping to salvage part of the night with my three best friends. However, all they did was complain about the missing young man who was attending to my date in the bathroom. It was spoiling the night and making me even more uncomfortable, so I proceeded to just stand outside the men’s bathroom and demand that my date call a cab back to his apartment where he could be properly watched over by his friends.
After the missing young man returned to my friends, the crew, instead of showing compassion by including me in the conversation, ignored me and abruptly walked off to dance without me, leaving me sitting at our dinner table alone. I figured that my presence was unimportant to them, and called a cab for myself.
They didn’t realize I was gone for a half-hour, and when we spoke briefly the next morning, they casually said that they would have accompanied me home had they known I was leaving.
Even though my date had the good sense to apologize profusely and take me on another date to make up for the lost time, my “best friends” didn’t have the courtesy to apologize for excluding me.
Was I expecting too much? Was I in the wrong to assume that people have a responsibility to include and be compassionate toward an abandoned date? Was I wrong to leave without warning? Miss Manners, I was so hurt by their actions that I have been giving them the cold shoulder ever since. Please tell me if I was wrong in any way.
A: That you easily forgave the person who got drunk and abandoned you, but hold a grudge against those who did not drop what was left of their evening’s enjoyment to attend to you, worries Miss Manners.
It smacks of the common attitude that females are responsible for poor behavior on the part of males — for example, when a lady forgives her husband for breaking his marriage vows while vilifying his partner, who was under no such obligation to her.
Your friends did recognize that your date was in possible danger from his drunkenness and took care of him. You were upset but capable of taking care of yourself, as in fact you did.
Miss Manners agrees that it would have been nice of them to express sympathy. But she hardly thinks that they were obligated to give up their evening to see you home, when you were able to do that on your own. Please save your indignation for the person who actually did ruin your date.
Q: Is it acceptable to go to someone’s house before 10 a.m. and knock on that person’s door?
A: Yes, if you have a package, a warrant or an invitation.
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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