DEAR MISS MANNERS: I moved into a house about three years ago. Late one evening, a male neighbor came over and cut my grass. Not expecting this, I gave him what little cash I had on hand, plus some refreshments. A few weeks later, I took a selection of holiday treats to his wife.
Afterward, the man began to come outside every time I worked in my yard. He’d sit and watch, walk to the end of the yard or driveway and even get into his car for a better view. He never greeted me or spoke when we made eye contact, which was weird and uncomfortable for me.
I tried to ignore it — until he approached one day when I was bent over with my back to the street. I turned and suddenly he was there without a word, so I yelped in surprise.
He left so quickly that I didn’t see him go. I was shaken and decided that it was time to have a discussion about his behavior. I changed clothes and went across the street to speak with him.
I asked what he’d come over for. He said that he wanted to tell me that I was working too hard, cutting hedges with a clipper instead of a trimmer. I said that working in my yard doesn’t bother me.
I asked why he watches me so much and also mentioned that he doesn’t speak. He replied by saying that he is nosy, wants to see what I’m up to and concluded with, “I guess I could wave, or mind my own business.”
I asked him to mind his own business and told him that he had been making me feel uncomfortable. Was I rude for this?
GENTLE READER: Well, it was a lot more polite than calling the authorities — which, Miss Manners assures you, would have been a valid alternative if this behavior had continued.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I use a sugar substitute to sweeten my coffee and tea. These typically come in small paper packets. I’m not sure what to do with the empty packets when dining in a restaurant.
After two or three cups of coffee, the packets litter the table. Should I stack them neatly, tuck them onto the saucer (if the cup has one) or add them to the empty plate with the used flatware?
My personal preference is that staff clear the litter when they are removing used items throughout the meal. Is it rude to hand off the empty packets or add them to an empty plate?
GENTLE READER: It is for this reason that Miss Manners procures loose bags of sweetener for her breakfast table and not unsightly packets.
But even she knows that there are just too many varieties — and potential mix-ups — for common restaurant use, and that health regulations may require that the sugar be wrapped. Therefore the correct procedure is to leave the disagreeable empty packets on the saucer (if one is available), plate or table — accompanied by a vaguely expectant but slightly apologetic look toward your hapless server.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/11/19/miss-manners-was-i-rude-in-confronting-my-nosy-neighbor/