Miss Manners: Friend is clueless and disrespectful. Should I drop her?

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First, this friend will routinely ask to get dinner or request to hang out, but not offer to host. This will go on for months. We have a new baby (they know this), but in an effort to maintain relationships that used to be enjoyable, we offer to host or select a restaurant to go to. Then they will cancel an hour or two before, show up an hour or so late or (most recently) show up half an hour early when we had told them we were putting our baby to bed!

Secondly, when we do get together, this friend will talk politics, make snide comments about her husband in front of us, call our baby “It,” talk about how disgusting motherhood sounds and ask how much money I make! I usually change the subject, dance around any uncomfortable questions or repeat her comments about the baby using “his/him.”

My husband is an introvert who prefers a small friend group, and is of the opinion that we should drop this friend as she “clearly doesn’t respect us or our young family.” But I have known this woman for years and I think she may just be clueless! Her sensitivity makes me hesitant to speak with her directly about these issues. Is this relationship worth salvaging?

It was always Miss Manners’ understanding that sensitive and insensitive were opposites. She now realizes that, when the former adjective is applied to people, it is more a case of flammable and inflammable: two ways to say the same thing — specifically, that the person is easily combustible.

Her own preference is to keep fire away from anything valuable, but you will have to decide the worth of this friendship on your own.

Dear Miss Manners: Is it good manners to send a thank-you note to the family of a good friend who left me money after her death? They were the ones who wrote the check and made sure her wishes were honored for me to receive it. Should I send one?

It would be awkward, as thanking them for properly executing the will carries the unpleasant suggestion that they might have done otherwise.

But Miss Manners understands the sentiment of wishing to acknowledge the gift to someone still living. You were going to write a condolence letter anyway. In recounting your late friend’s many kindnesses, you can, in passing, include her last.



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