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Miss Manners: don’t hog the airplane window and quit sulking over parties

Dear Miss Manners: Who is the boss of the airplane window?

I enjoy sitting next to the window so I can enjoy the scenery and because it helps me feel less claustrophobic. Many people prefer the cabin dark so they can look at devices.

At 8 a.m. on a long flight, a woman asked me to shut my window. I explained that I liked it at least halfway up due to claustrophobia. She got the flight attendant to insist I shut my window completely. Not wishing to cause trouble at 10,000 feet, I complied, becoming bored and anxious.

Conversely, when I am in an aisle seat, is it rude to ask the stranger next to me to raise the shade, especially when landing?

Who is in charge? The person sitting by the window, or everyone else?

Gentle Reader: The person seated by the window – with limitations. After all, the person on the aisle controls bathroom access, but would be wrong to deny it. Compromises must be made.

In order to fend off future scuffles, Miss Manners suggests that you politely inform travel companions of your window preferences as soon as you are seated. If their preferences are more pressing than yours, then you should oblige.

Keeping score

Dear Miss Manners: One of my neighbors built a new home four miles away. It has been five months since the move, and no one has been invited to see her new home.

I thought she would have a housewarming party but did send a new-home card with a nursery gift card right after the move.

Another neighbor asked when she could come to see the new house. The reply was, “When I have my going-away party.”

We have always had going-away parties for people moving out of state, but never just to move to a new home nearby. This neighbor did have a party for a couple next door to her who were moving because they were getting divorced.

Should we have given her a party for moving four miles away? We have still gone to lunch with her, had the couple over for bonfires and included her in showers.

Gentle Reader: Watch out for people who demand that parties be given for them.

You are one of them. Your now-somewhat-more-distant neighbor is sulking because she was not given a farewell party. And you are complaining that she isn’t giving a housewarming party.

Miss Manners would call that a draw. As neighbors continue to include the former neighbor socially, the test will be whether she reciprocates that sort of hospitality, not whether either of you is owed a party.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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