DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friend and I have known each other for many years. This woman is always late, even though she has no children at home and her husband is often away.
We meet for lunch several times a month and I don’t remember her being on time more than once or twice. There’s always an excuse. I’ve tried to make jokes about it, and she doesn’t change.
The apology never implies an emergency – just that she was talking with a neighbor, or that she stopped at a store to run an errand, etc.
The last time we planned to see each other, she was half an hour late. True, she sent a text message saying she was arrested because her neighbor caught her going out and started talking. (Personally, I would have told my neighbor that I had an appointment and that I would talk to her later.)
When my friend finally pulled into the restaurant parking lot, I lost it and confronted her. I then got into my vehicle and left. I’m tired of feeling like she doesn’t care if we meet.
Of course, a few days later I texted a very sincere apology. No answer. Tried calling – no answer. I even went to her house and no one answered the door. I don’t know if she was home or not.
Finally, she sent me a very condescending text. She said she was not to have any contact with me for a few months. She said she couldn’t stand the way I talked to her.
I know I was wrong and I apologized, but she acts like she never did anything wrong – that she was always right and being late was no big deal.
GENTLE READER: Did you convince her that there was much to blame? Miss Manners has no idea.
Yelling at someone, then having to apologize, almost guarantees you won’t be heard.
Only next time — if there is a next time — can you say, “Again, I’m sorry for being rude and I’m sorry for not saying something sooner and more calmly. But it bothers me that you’re never on time.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: While dining at the buffet just before closing, I had finished and my mother was lingering over her meal.
If the closing time is known, shouldn’t we make the effort to finish and leave at that time, or order the meal to go?
GENTLE READER: It would be a kindness to the servers. You also owe your mother consideration by not rushing her during a meal.
Keep both in mind when you gently urge your mother to have dessert – while letting the staff know, with a look, that you intend to leave the premises before dawn.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or by postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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