Miss Manners: My mother-in-law keeps commenting on my health

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Dear Miss Manners: I am a recently married young woman with inflammatory bowel disease. Because of my illness, I take medicine prescribed by my doctor and try my best to have a healthy diet. Recently, I started to follow a vegetarian diet.

My mother-in-law brings up my illness in conversation every time we see each other, and she tries to persuade me to go on a ketogenic diet because, according to her, vegetarian diets are inherently unhealthy. She is also trying to persuade me to replace my medication with lemon and ginger.

I find this line of chat quite distasteful – partly because I find her insistence that she knows better than my doctor and me disrespectful, but also because I don’t think it’s appropriate to try to meddle in the plan. treatment of a person with a chronic disease. diseases.

Can I graciously but firmly ask my mother-in-law to keep her views about my health to herself? Or should I just smile and nod throughout these conversations with her?

If you thought you could, without unfortunate consequences, ask your mother-in-law to keep her opinions to herself, Miss Manners suspects you would have done so already.

But don’t underestimate the power of smiling and nodding. If your mother-in-law realizes that you’re not going to fight back — and you won’t change your ways either — she’ll get tired of giving advice. This way, you won’t have to answer for insulting her because what she said was only a mother’s concern for your well-being.

Dear Miss Manners: I received an academic promotion for which I had requested letters of support from professors inside and outside my institution. All the teachers answered in the affirmative and I would like to thank them.

However, the nature of the process is such that the letters remain confidential to the candidate; I don’t even know if all requests were honored (and I wouldn’t want to imply that I had inappropriate knowledge).

I would like to write to each of the professors, in the following sense: “I am honored to report my promotion to the position of professor and I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for your willingness to support my candidacy.”

Does Miss Manners have any suggestions for a more elegant or appropriate approach?

Although she finds no fault with the text of your letter, Miss Manners offers some advice. If you had sent thank you letters immediately after your support request was accepted, they would have served the dual purpose of reminding anyone who had not yet sent the recommendation to do so.

You might then have been able to write a second letter with the happy news of your promotion. (It would have been more work, but, because you’re in a field that involves both networking and writing, it’s not a burden.) It would also have reinforced that you would have been grateful to their support, even if you did not receive the promotion.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday at washingtonpost.com/board. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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