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Miss Manners: Repairing a family rift, and a car window
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Miss Manners: Repairing a family rift, and a car window

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WIN Judith Martin Miss Manners

PHOTO COURTESY OF UNITED FEATURES’ SYNDICATE — Judith Martin, columnist for Miss Manners.

Dear Miss Manners: My 29-year-old daughter has "unfriended" my husband and me on social media, and most likely blocked our phone numbers. We haven't talked, texted or anything in over a month.

The reason is that she has a resale business where she buys furniture in other cities, then brings it back to our city and sells it for a profit. She has asked multiple times to borrow our cars, which have gotten dinged up from putting furniture in them. And the last time she used my car, a rock hit my window.

She did not offer to fix it, and got mad at me when I asked her to make a claim on her insurance, since she was driving. When I asked her to pay for the deductible on my insurance, she got mad at us and said the only thing we ever talked about was money.

Am I wrong that when you borrow something and it gets damaged, you are responsible? The money isn't the issue; it is the disrespect toward me. We addressed the issue before she unfriended us.

Obviously this isn't a huge amount of money. We'd like to have a relationship with our daughter, but don't want to be walked on. Any suggestions on repairing this situation since she blocked us out?

Gentle Reader: Write a letter. It has the advantage of being both disarming in its novelty and also one-sided.

Keep it simple and do not cast or accept blame: "We are sorry that the situation with the car got out of hand. Now that we have resolved it, let us all take pains to do better in the future. We miss you."

Miss Manners cannot promise that your daughter will respond to or even read it, but at least she will have to take greater measures if she wants to block or unfriend the mail system.

Dear Miss Manners: Pre-pandemic, two longtime friends invited me for dinner at their home once or twice a year. In the thank-you notes I've sent afterwards, I've mentioned that I've had a wonderful time, the atmosphere is warm, and they're good company, and that the meal was delicious. I've made specific reference to at least one dish each time. But I'm worried that my notes are repetitive.

I realize that sincere, if repetitive, notes are better than none, and I have no intention of not sending a note should they, or anyone else, make a meal for me in the future. But I wonder whether I am overlooking some additional element that should be included.

The Queen has been throwing formal dinners for years, and how many people are invited is important. Buzz60’s Keri Lumm reports.

Gentle Reader: How about the conversation? "I am so glad that we were able to shed some light on the subject of sea turtle preservation. Freya really made me think about my position and now I am deep into a study of their migration habits."

A thank-you letter at all is a rare thing. A good one, even more so. Miss Manners commends you for your efforts, and assures you that making yours thoughtful and specific will, at the very least, increase your desirability as a delightful dinner guest.

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