comment on this story
Dear Miss Manners: I’ve had a best friend for 27 years and I’m very annoyed with her. Every time I ask her out to dinner or to an event, she expects me to pay for everything. She even went so far as to ask me for loans, groceries, etc.
Being the good person that I am, I would lend her money and buy groceries for her if I could. The problem is that she won’t pay me. When I confront her about it, she gets very angry and tells me that she is not able to pay me back financially. She has a really good job and makes really good money. I am a single mother and my income is not very high. Once I asked her for gas money and she lost her temper. She said she didn’t help anyone financially and then stopped talking to me.
She moved in with her sister, pays only $300 in rent, and supports her 27-year-old son financially—paying for his rent, car payments, insurance, groceries, etc.
I have completely stopped helping him and will not give anything anymore. I don’t want to lose the friendship of 27 years, but I don’t want to be her friend if all she asks for is money. Please help!
if there is friendship Defined by longevity (instead of warmth, kindness, or shared interests), we’d all have more friends—without being better off.
Miss Manners mentions this because none of the acts you describe suggest that this is a man you should be willing to be in a relationship with for 27 days, let alone 27 years.
If he is wrong and this person has other endearing qualities, repeated demands for money should be firmly, directly, and without resentment rejected: “I’m sorry. I can’t lend you money for your groceries.”
Dear Miss Manners: My daughter found my reaction to the cleaning lady’s constant chatter rude.
“D.” There’s a young man cleaning our office. They regularly eat lunch at the same time as I do. I listened to this babble non-stop for half an hour, three different people detailing what salad they had eaten last week or issues they were having with a scandalous roommate. I’ve watched this person babble on non-stop, incoherent chatter even after the victim has left.
The other day, D. asked me how I was, and I replied, “Fine, thanks.” I didn’t answer the question because I had to go back to work. My daughter thinks I should have asked how D is and then apologized and said “I have to get back to work”.
Which one of us has the more polite answer?
let’s call them polite reply b and polite reply a. Although Miss Manners finds no fault in starting with B, it becomes even more innocent when A has already been tried by you – and D’s babble about C, E, F and G is abused.
New Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday at Washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners through her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.