DEAR MISS MANNERS: Shortly after boarding my plane today, I noticed that the passenger sitting next to me had his mask under his nose. In a very polite tone, I asked him, “Would you please put your mask over your nose?”
He replied that masks were “ineffective,” to which I replied, again in a perfectly civil tone, “Science says otherwise, so we must agree to disagree.”
He grumbled, pulled up his mask and typed a message on his phone in very large type that he was sitting next to a “mask Nazi” and a “(misogynist expletive)”.
From the size of the writing and the angle he was holding his phone I deduced he wanted me to see the news, but having young children I recognized this outburst for what it was: an immature and guilt-ridden reaction to being caught doing what not to do. I refused the bait and opened my book.
Later during the flight, he dropped his mask under his nose again.
What could Miss Manners do in such a situation? Ask the neighbors again? If so, how? Should you call the flight attendant to ask for her intervention? Should you ask for another seat?
GENTLE READER: If you can. At the very least, you can pretend it is for the flight attendant by asking, “Can I change seats?” I don’t want to monitor this gentleman but I don’t feel safe if his mask isn’t on properly.”
At that point, the flight attendant will likely scold him for you and might even reseat you. Miss Manners is afraid that you will have to endure his childish grievances which you have told him. But at least do it from a safe distance.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband, I and another couple went out for dinner last summer (during the pandemic). We were in a tourist destination, at the onset of what we call “supply chain problems.”
The restaurant was full and no one remembered to make reservations so we had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated.
As our waiter took our orders, it became clear that one of our attendees was deeply unhappy with the menu items available. There were some items that had just been used up. The dissatisfied party vented at the server saying that “more buffalo should have been ordered” and demanded to know why it wasn’t.
We were so embarrassed that I wanted to leave. What is the best way for bystanders to react in this situation? I have never experienced anything like this in my culinary experience.
GENTLE READER: Treat that person like a kid throwing a tantrum: give the server an apologetic look and, if possible, quickly remove the complainer.
Miss Manners suggests you offer to take the offender outside, saying: ‘I know this is disappointing. Maybe you need a moment to collect yourself?” And then pad the top of the server.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners on her website www.missmanners.com; to her email, email@example.com; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/09/miss-manners-this-stranger-wanted-me-to-see-his-insulting-text-about-me/ Stranger wanted me to see his offending text