Miss Manners: Should I send a Valentine’s Day card to a man I haven’t met?

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Dear Miss Manners: Can I send a simple Valentine’s Day card to a man I admire but don’t expect a response from? The card would simply wish her a good day, with no mention of love or romance.

He doesn’t know me, but he has a high-profile public image, so I know him. I would send him to the care of a professional association he is involved with, not to his home. I have no intention of following up, even though I sent another simple card 20 years ago to this same man in the same way. He thanked me in writing. We have never met.

I would like to sign my name, but I don’t want to scare him either. He is single, while I am in an unhappy marriage, of which he would know nothing. I am ripped.

Why don’t you just send her a New Year’s card? As you say, you wouldn’t suggest it’s about love or romance.

If you can’t fool naive Miss Manners, you can be sure you won’t fool the recipient. But since he’s apparently some sort of public figure, you might not be the first unhappy woman to approach him. It was gracious of him to thank you the first time, but he doesn’t seem to have offered to run away together.

So you’re talking about fan mail. It sounds harmless, but not flattering to your husband – if you care or if he would.

Dear Miss Manners: Whenever I finish my meals at a restaurant or club, I always fold my used cloth napkin into a square or rectangle and carefully place it on the table. My dear wife (my critic of manners and social behavior for many years) now informs me that this is in bad taste and evidence of a low class upbringing.

Of course, I appreciate the considerable judgment my wife has rendered over the years, but every time I think I’ve resolved the issues stemming from my lesser birth, something like this pops up. What do you think?

If not for that cracking up on being lower class, Miss Manners would have taken your wife’s side. The state of morals is not linked to the state of his finances. There are a lot of rude people up there, as we all know.

If anything, folding your napkin would suggest that your family used cloth napkins at dinner – that’s not been a given for a long time now. Napkin rings would have been handed out and you should have been expected to carefully place your napkin inside your own. Folding the napkin could also indicate that your family didn’t have a laundress, so the napkins were used for several meals before the wash, but that’s not what you would call low class.

However, when dining in a restaurant, there is no question whether the napkins are reused. (At least there shouldn’t be.) That’s why you shouldn’t try to make the towels look fresh.

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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