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Friend gets tipsy at party

Dear Miss Manners: My best friend is getting married, and I couldn't be happier for her. This past weekend she had an engagement party at the home she shares with her mother. My husband and I arrived early to help set up and stayed late to help clean, and we had a wonderful time.

I may have had too wonderful a time. The next morning I realized I had a little bit too much to drink at the party. I knew I wasn't falling all over the place but I may have been guilty of long-winded storytelling.

When I asked my husband his opinion on how I behaved toward the latter end of the party, he confirmed my suspicions, adding that I "downed that last glass of wine" as I was leaving. No other social infractions occurred, but I am so embarrassed. I called to apologize to my best friend and she chuckled and thanked us for our help, kindly glossing over my faux pas.

I still feel foolish. Should I send a note of apology to her mother? She was on the receiving end of a long-winded story or two and may have witnessed the wine guzzling as I exited.

Gentle Reader: Ah, yes, the classic Day-After Dilemma.

Do you pretend that nothing unusual happened, and risk having observers presume that this is your normal behavior? Or do you apologize, and risk alerting those who failed to notice? (We will not go into the question of why your husband didn't offer you the comfort of saying, "It wasn't so bad -- I'm sure nobody really noticed.")

Miss Manners recommends writing the mother to say what a lovely party it was and how happy you are for your friend. Omit any statement of having enjoyed yourself, which could bring on the thought of yes, you certainly did.

You may be sure that if the mother noticed this, she mentioned it to her daughter, who has already shown herself to be gracious enough to dismiss it and to explain that it is atypical for you. Your having behaved well the next day by thanking your hostess should act in your favor.

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A very public insult

Dear Miss Manners: I have an awkward dilemma. We've all heard about people being fired for ranting online about their bosses, coworkers and company policy. Well, a friend of mine ranted about her F-ing boss on Facebook. Her boss is my mother. I don't want to jeopardize this person's career. What to do?

Gentle Reader: Jeopardize this person's career. Your mother may decide to be merciful, but Miss Manners assures you that no civilized person can allow his or her mother to be publicly insulted, deservedly or not.

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