Q: I am currently working at a job I hate. I finally decided to begin searching for more fulfilling employment.
How do I answer the question, “Why are you leaving a good, steady job after 13 years?” I want to be honest with potential employers, but saying, “I hate my current job and it is slowly destroying my soul” is just not the right way to go.
What would be the best way to answer this without lying or sounding quite so bitter?
A: If you were divorced, would you approach a romantic prospect by talking about how much you hate your former spouse? Although come to think of it, lots of people think this is a charming way of becoming acquainted.
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In both cases, Miss Manners would consider it more effective to express your admiration for the new. To tell a potential employer that you find the possibility of change, and in particular of working there, exciting is not a lie. After all, you likely are excited about leaving a job you hate.
Q: In view of the recent decision of the Supreme Court, there is a obvious increase of gay/lesbian marriages. Could you offer suggestions as to the proper spoken and written titles for these married couples?
If a couple introduce their partners as “my husband” or “my wife,” are their titles now Mr. and Mrs. John Smith if they are both males or both females? Is it proper to address the “wife” as Mrs. Pete Smith?
How would a handwritten envelope — i.e., wedding invitation, museum opening, etc. — be addressed? In our community, children are often taught to refer to adult family friends, teachers, neighbors, etc., as Ms. Rita or Mr. John. Do they now become Mr. Rita and Ms. John? It has become very complicated.
A: No, it hasn’t. If, as Miss Manners suspects, you are trying to be cute, please cut it out.
On the chance that you are genuinely confused, however, please allow her to explain that marrying someone of the same sex and changing genders are two separate matters. When people of the same sex marry, they are both husbands or wives and do not assume opposite gender forms of address.
Q: My daughter is 48 years old and getting married for the second time. She will have a veil that is shoulder length. Should she have the veil over her face at the altar?
A: As she likes. Miss Manners may not be conspicuous for countenancing mangled traditions, but she is amazingly tolerant about bridal attire.
That is because she remembers something more disturbing: sneering wedding guests. When dear Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress, she probably did not intend to launch it as a uniform for young, inexperienced brides. (She had been under heavy maternal supervision.)
But so it became, encouraging mean-spirited people to snicker at brides they considered too old or “experienced” (whether or not from a previous marriage) to wear white, and related regalia, such as veils. That this nasty custom has been wiped away by the ubiquitous use of the bridal costume strikes Miss Manners as a good trade-off.
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.