DEAR MISS MANNERS: A Major League Baseball player has moved into the neighborhood where I live, and friends have told me they’ve seen him at the grocery store, local restaurants, etc.
I would never interrupt someone’s meal, but if we were both looking at vegetables in the produce section, would it be rude to say hello? I would never ask for an autograph or a selfie, but is it more polite to just ignore its existence?
GENTLE READER: “Hi” can confuse the player into thinking they know you. And nothing more than that can stop him from properly examining his vegetables.
When it comes to meeting celebrities, Miss Manners recommends a quiet, low-key “I’m a huge fan” before moving on. If executed correctly, the player will be flattered – and relieved that they won’t have to ignore their product for a long time.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a relative who wears glasses for certain tasks. When not in use, this person removes them and places them around my house.
It’s fine in most areas, but I draw the line at kitchen counters. I asked them several times not to put their glasses on the counter. They don’t care and often do it anyway. It’s unsanitary and disgusting, in my opinion. Am I overreacting?
GENTLE READER: Not clear. Because Miss Manners finds it hard to imagine how, exactly, the practice is unsanitary.
Either way, it bothers you, so she suggests you try to fix the problem by giving your loved one a bead of glasses for their next birthday or vacation. “You always seem to misplace yours, so I thought this might help” is infinitely preferable to “Please keep your big eye germs off my kitchen table.”
DEAR MISS MANNERS: While celebrating a recent birthday at a lovely downtown restaurant, my husband, I and our adult children were greeted by our server with a bottle of wine. The server handed my husband a card and said the bottle was a gift for him and the card would tell us who it was from (he happened to be an associate).
We’re not usually wine drinkers, but on occasion I like a glass or two of a good red. My husband wanted to return it or exchange it for a cocktail or something of equal value. I thought that would be rude and inappropriate, so I said I’d be happy to drink wine. The waiter opened the bottle and served us.
My husband was upset that I did this as he never drinks wine and it was his birthday. I felt asking for a trade was a bit beyond daring. What is the right way to have handled the situation?
KIND READER: You could have asked the waiter to keep the bottle for you, telling him and the associate who sent it to you that you wanted to enjoy it later at home. Then your husband could reasonably have ordered something else with dinner.
Other than that, Miss Manners agrees that the only other polite thing to do was for you to drink wine graciously. Meanwhile, your husband should leave the “but it’s my birthday!” tantrums to all children under 5 years old.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to his email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.