Miss Manners: Solo dinner is ashamed of “just one?” of the host. question

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Dear Miss Manners: I am a bachelor in his 50s who likes to recharge his batteries as a solo diner in restaurants. Sometimes I catch up on my reading, other times I people watch, and other times I just enjoy some quiet time with myself. (Notice that I didn’t say “by” myself.)

Could you please inform the restaurant hosts that it is degrading to say “Only one?” that I approached to be seated? It’s been my pet peeve since I was the main host of a restaurant in my twenties: I taught my staff never to greet solitary diners with such a rude opening.

My response to the unconscious and thoughtless when this happens – which happens almost every time – is: “Isn’t one enough? »

Food for thought, dear Miss Manners. I would certainly appreciate if you could pass this little nugget on to those who work in the restaurant business.

Of course – if you can suggest an appropriate substitution. Miss Manners notices that you didn’t, perhaps because it’s such an innocuous thing to say.

She suggests, “Table for one?” since any harmless number can connect to it. Or even simply, “How many people in your group?”

But in the absence of that, it seems much more likely that your restaurant hosts are simply trying to assess where to sit – not shaming you for being alone – with their innocent use of the word “just” or “only”. . It is you who attach meaning to it.

And speaking of semantics, Miss Manners is afraid she doesn’t see a substantial difference between “with” and “by” myself, except that the former sounds much more salacious.

Dear Miss Manners: For many years I wore my red hair thick and curly in a long mane – sometimes down, sometimes pinned up in different styles. I recently cut it just above my shoulders, and I feel great about it!

However, I receive compliments that do not suit me: “What a cute cut; it’s so much more professional. I hated that bun you wore. “It’s the best your hair has ever looked; I hope you never push him away.

Some of the commenters have taken it upon themselves to repeat the statement multiple times, and it depresses me. I loved my long hair, and I could push it back! I love my friends too, and would appreciate a proper response to let them know that the second half of their “compliment” ruins the first half.

“I’m sorry to hear that you thought I looked bad for so long. I’m also enjoying this new look, but I hope I won’t disappoint you when I grow it again. This way, Miss Manners assures you that they will be duly warned not to be rude anymore.

Dear Miss Manners: My wonderful daughter-in-law takes off her shoes when she enters our house. My floors aren’t spotless, and when we sit down in the living room, she then puts her feet up on the white wool upholstery.

I didn’t say anything at first, when she was the girlfriend. Now they are married. We have a great relationship, and I should be grateful for that and not put my furniture first. But is there anything I can say at this point?

“We got you this pair of slippers.

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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