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20 Jun, 2024
Miss Manners: A parent is concerned about his niece’s appearance at the wedding
3 mins read

Miss Manners: A parent is concerned about his niece’s appearance at the wedding

Dear Mrs. Manners: I have a niece, Maya, who has been separated from her family since she was a teenager. After five years, she returned, wanting to be close to her family. We try to get to know her again because she is not the same child we knew – rather a stranger. When she left, she was a beautiful, smart young lady, but now she says she will live as a hippie. Her mom supports it. She has facial piercings, full armpit hair, and multiple visible tattoos. We don’t agree with her life choices, but we remain silent.

The problem concerns my son’s upcoming wedding. Maya is excited to participate, but my son is afraid that she will dress in such a way that her armpit hair and tattoos will be visible. She is afraid that: 1. she will become a spectacle and attract attention with her appearance, and 2. someone will notice her appearance and will have to defend her on the most important day of their life. Our whole family is concerned about this. We are a professional family and our lifestyle reflects this. Many business partners will be present.

It’s not that we don’t care about her; we try to get to know it and love it, but it is not a way of life generally accepted by society. I’m starting to feel resentful that she’s come back into our lives after her absence, expecting us to approve of her presentation and behavior. We would appreciate any tips on how to deal with this. We don’t want to hurt her, but the focus should be on my beautiful daughter-in-law, not my hippie cousin.

What business do you have? would the family in this be destroyed if they saw their cousin’s armpit hair? And what kind of guests do you expect who will dare to criticize the groom’s family to their face?

Never mind. Miss Manners will try to calm you down by pointing out the improbability of the scene you are imagining.

The appearance you describe is not unusual in today’s society. The chance that everyone will stare at her and ignore the bride is close to zero. It is more likely that many of them have relatives whose lifestyle is different from their own.

What worries Miss Manners more is how alienated you are by the appearance of your relatives. You will never accept it, much less love it, if you cannot see beyond it.

Dear Mrs. Manners: I’m single and when I go out to dinner with a couple, the check is split 50/50. Shouldn’t it be split 1/3 and 2/3? Should this be discussed when planning dinner? This happens with both colleagues and social acquaintances.

Which class did this Your companions are failing – math or ethics?

In both cases, Miss Manners thinks they need your help. If you can collect the check first, you can tell them what they owe; if they receive them, you can ask to see them and declare your participation.

New Miss Manners columns are published Monday to Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.