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Expect opinions once private news is public

By Judith Martin
Universal Syndicate DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are both in our early 30s and have been married for three years. Finally, we have been able to get the engagement ring we have always wanted. I knew that there would be mixed emotions from people in our social circle once the ring became public news, and since then we have received the wonderful and expected congratulations. Unfortunately, we have also been met with sarcasm and critical remarks. I am not sure how to respond without being rude when comments of this nature are directed at me. GENTLE READER: Exactly how did your buying a ring become ‘‘public news?’’ Miss Manners doubts that even people who are brash enough to grab the hand of a newly engaged lady to check out the expected jewelry would think to do so to someone married three years previously. You told them, didn’t you — directly or through a social media posting, or both? Mind you, Miss Manners not only agrees that how you spend your hard-earned money is none of anyone’s business, but she even can understand that the illogic of calling it an engagement ring has sentimental charm for you and your husband. But you made it, as you say, ‘‘public news.’’ And therefore you solicited reaction from the public. Your response to criticism can be to say, ‘‘Well, it makes us happy,’’ stiffly enough so as to discourage further comment. Then you should resolve not to seek public approval of your private business when you are not also prepared to accept public disapproval. Write to Miss Manners at dearmissmanners@gmail.com or Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106

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