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Chimes strike a sour note

Dear Miss Manners: We kindly asked our neighbors if they could take in their chimes at night so we can sleep peacefully (windows open, no air-conditioning, although they have it), and what happens? They put up an additional set. What do you think?

Gentle Reader: That neighborhood warfare is terrible for everyone concerned, and that you should not mount a counterattack.

Oh, yes, you were thinking of that. Miss Manners knows because, she would, too. Anyone would. But don't do it. They know where you live.

It does seem that the neighbors have thrown down the gauntlet, but that does not mean that you need to pick it up and fight.

If you really want to drive them crazy, go over with a plate of cookies and make small talk, only slipping in, when their suspicions are allayed, that the wind chimes are charming. When they bring up your complaint, you can say, "Oh, it's only at night that they bother us. It would be so kind of you to still them then."

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Mom proud of daughter

Dear Miss Manners: My daughter is getting married in 2012; she has been engaged for almost a year. They have been working hard at getting everything (venue, pictures, dress, etc.) in place and paid for well in advance. I have been so proud of her.

The other day she came over and said her best friend's sister (they have all been friends since the second grade) has now changed the date of her wedding to before my daughter's and went out and bought the same dress as my daughter.

I felt so bad for her. I could tell she was hurt, but she said, "That's OK -- my wedding will still be mine." I was so proud of her.

Besides this being truly tacky, what is one supposed to say to someone who is supposed to be a friend, but changes her wedding date to before yours, and then goes out and buys the same dress?

Gentle Reader: "Best wishes."

Miss Manners, like you, is proud of your daughter. She trusts that you can put this out of your mind so that your daughter can be equally proud of you.

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No pictures, please

Dear Miss Manners: When attending another person's party, is it polite to bring your vacation pictures to show to other guests?

Gentle Reader: Only if your host has asked your help in clearing the place out.

Send questions to Miss Manners to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.