DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why do people feel it necessary to lie to those they know and love, while they are uncomfortable telling a little white lie to strangers?
Such was the case when a neighbor organized a dinner party for her husband at a popular family-style restaurant for a total of eight dining guests. The neighbor assured us she had a reservation.
When we arrived, we learned otherwise and had to wait close to an hour to be seated. The establishment refused her request. You need 12 in your party to qualify for a reservation.
Upon inquiry, the neighbor told us that she felt uncomfortable lying to the restaurant hostess, but felt we could find it in our hearts to forgive her.
I am confused by her behavior and believe this could have been handled with a little more thought, in either moving the event to another restaurant or adding four more guests. What are your thoughts?
GENTLE READER: That indeed, there is such a double standard, particularly in regard to restaurants. Miss Manners hears about it in the peculiar confessions of people who panic about their lack of table manners when going to a restaurant -- with no thought for those whom they may have been disgusting for years.
Your friend has explained the reasoning behind this: that lack of consideration toward one's own circle is permissible because one can probably get away with it.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the protocol for wearing hats? Can they be worn at a wedding? How does one ask a family member to please remove a baseball cap during one's wedding ceremony?
GENTLE READER: During one's wedding ceremony?
Are you telling Miss Manners that rather than gazing into the eyes of your beloved and listening to the officiant, you were checking out the guests?
It is true that the only proper hats for wedding guests are outrageous ones worn by ladies attending daytime ceremonies. Had you caught the offender on his way in, you might have enlisted an usher to say, "Sir, would you mind removing your hat."
However, you cannot police your own wedding guests.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it rude for me to take home several pieces of candy from a dish at my girlfriend's dinner party without asking her permission to do so?
The candies were sitting out for anyone to eat. However, I didn't want to eat them there, so I took several to eat later. Is this considered tacky or rude?
GENTLE READER: To treat someone else's house as a free grocery store?
Refreshments of whatever kind are offered for guests to consume during their visits, not to allow them to stock up at the host's expense. Miss Manners would like also to bring this rule to the attention of guests who ask to take home leftovers from meals.
Miss Manners is the pseudonym of Judith Martin. Miss Manners runs Mondays and Wednesdays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.