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Dear Miss Manners: I wondered if you could address this issue with the hope of helping some men enter the 21st century: During a recent course of air travel, I was repeatedly offered unwanted, unsolicited "help" with my carry-on bag.

I am 38. While I understand that some of the men -- those before my generation -- were taught that they must help a "lady" with her bags or be thought impolite, I think that others -- some younger and some older -- use it as an excuse to intrude themselves on an apparently single female traveler. Regardless of their motivation, I would like for them to understand my perspective:

I do not want your help. I would never dream of asking for it. I am not so stupid as to pack a bag that I cannot handle myself.

interested in meeting you or any other strange man in an airport, and if you touch my bag, you'll only annoy me. Who asked you to put your filthy, disease-ridden paws on my bag?

No, I don't feel the need to be polite because you intruded with unwanted and unasked-for "help." And don't ever think of me as a "lady."

< Gentle Reader: Miss Manners can reassure you that no one who read your letter would think of you as a lady. She hopes that puts your mind at rest.

who would dream of offering help to another human being are sexual predators.

But why would you ask Miss Manners to assist you in bringing this about? need to be polite.

What did he say?

Dear Miss Manners: I have a girlfriend who insists on answering every question that I ask her with a question. She does this because she believes that I have hidden motives or an agenda.

Isn't it considered rude to answer questions with questions. As a matter of practice, I never do this because I always considered it rude. Am I wrong, should I inquire into the hidden biases of my friends to protect myself?

< Gentle Reader: Although she wonders why you do not use question marks after your questions, Miss Manners will refrain from asking. One more person answering you with questions would probably finish you off.

suspect your friend) and idle curiosity (of which Miss Manners is guilty). perhaps an ill-timed one, and it can be a way of clarifying the subject to be discussed.