DEAR SIR: While I was shopping at a department store, I saw an old woman using an electric shopping cart that was at the end of her checkout process. It was obvious that he would not be able to complete this route, let alone cross the store.
I told him that if he was going to stay, I would try to get him another car. At the front of the store, there were two or three, so I went into one with a full charge.
Before I left, I was attracted to a rude man who scolded me a lot for taking a wheelchair designed for the disabled.
I never felt the need to explain myself to strangers and he was in no mood to listen, so I drove by him as he yelled at me and caused a scene. This incident scared me a lot, but I don’t know how I could have handled the situation differently. Labor can be hard to find, and the woman clearly needed help.
Is there a better way to deal with corrections from loud and violent noise?
DEAR READER: Although Miss Manners is amused by the thought of your driving and replies, “It’s not mine!”, she admits that it would be pointless. Loud and violent people are usually not open to thinking and thinking.
It is better that you and the woman without a carriage know your true intentions. But it is a lesson for all of us not to think about situations in which we are not involved.
DEAR SIR: I always try to be respectful to clerks, waiters, cashiers, etc. I thank them and call them “miss,” “wife,” “sir” or “young man.” But recently I embarrassed myself by using “Ms” to address someone I thought was a woman.
When I checked again, I realized I was talking to a transgender person and quickly apologized. They graciously accepted my apology.
However, we agreed that the lack of a respectful approach to dealing with trans people is troubling. What is the correct address?
DEAR READER: The examples you specify — even before we add the possibility of misunderstanding — are also problematic. “miss” may choose “Mrs. (although it is often a distortion); Many “mothers” protest that they are too young to receive this title; and “young men” over a certain age find the label degrading.
Although Miss Manners hopes that most of these strangers will be as kind as someone she just met, she has plenty of evidence to the contrary. It’s safer — and more polite — to make no guesses at all and say “thank you.” Full stop.
HOW TO DO IT: As a gentleman, I give my wife first choice if there are two left. Example: “Dear wife, we have two tomatoes left. Would you like red or yellow?”
His answer is invariably, “Any other is fine. I have no choice.”
I argue that this is disrespectful, and that proper behavior would force her to choose one, rather than deferring the decision to me. What do you say?
DEAR READER: That Miss Manners, like your wife, has no choice in the matter.
Knowing this, you can spare your wife the decision and take what you want. But some couples, beware: Not everyone will appreciate this kind of trimming of copper tomatoes. It usually only takes one such breach to find out.
(Please send your questions to Miss Manners at 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 .)
COPYRIGHT 2022 JUDITH MARTIN
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