I welcome students as I welcome others. We also try to be apolitical while on campus, so we greet parents remotely but politely. But if the parent reaches out, can I refuse it? Perhaps politely say, “Can I shake your hand?”
if it makes You feel it is virtuous to do so – and rather than you stating a reason, let it be assumed that there is some physical reason that makes it difficult for you to shake hands. Unless you let your politics intervene in the situation, you end up embarrassing, if not irritating, your students and parents.
You are free to disagree with these people and their views in the political arena. But to insult them personally is to set a standard of disrespect and undermine your commitment as a professor to resolve disagreements through discussion rather than insults.
dear lady manners: I grew up being told that I should always ask, “What should I bring?” when invited to dinner. If the answer is “just me” (which I was told was the most polite answer), always bring something, such as a bottle of wine anyway.
When I host dinners, I never expect anyone to bring anything. (Between you and I, I prefer not to because I have meal plans. But if you do, I appreciate it.) “What should I bring?” Detailed and long shopping list: Bring this particular wine, bread from this particular bakery, this exact salad (with linked recipe), and more.
A potluck dinner sounds fine, but is it really okay to invite someone over and ask them to bring $70 of booze and groceries and send them on a scavenger hunt?
What is the best answer to “What should I bring?”
don’t ask what to do question? In honor of your upbringing, Miss Manners believes it’s time to put an end to this abusive practice.
dear lady manners: A longtime friend returned some birthday or “because” gifts I gave her.
She returned the item months after receiving it and said it was useless or didn’t like the color. I put a lot of thought into these presents and live on a fixed income. When she does this, I’m embarrassed and don’t say anything back.
Please tell me what to say to her, if any. After she came back for her last time, I stopped giving her her gifts.
but you already have Solved the problem. Miss Manners agrees that people who do not appreciate receiving gifts should not receive them.
A new Miss Manners column is posted Monday through Saturday. Washingtonpost.com/adviceQuestions for Miss Manners can be submitted on her website. Miss Manners.comYou can also follow her @RealMissManners.