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Miss Manners: Hate 'hey there'? Get over it

Miss Manners: Hate 'hey there'? Get over it

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Dear Miss Manners: I want to address the greeting of “Hi there/Hey there” that people often say to me.

I am not a location, and I truly prefer that people call me by my name, if they know it. If they don’t, I’d prefer if they just said “Hi.”

I have thought about telling them in a polite way what I prefer, but there is more to deal with in life than this particular pet peeve. Am I being too persnickety?

Gentle Reader: Yes. True, you are not a location, but Miss Manners is hesitant to point out that you are, in fact, there.

Logic is probably not the issue here. You are a “you,” but you probably would not like “Hey, you” any better.

Miss Manners suspects that it is really the tone with which this is said, not the greeting itself, that is proving irksome. As you point out, there are far more egregious things you could be called, and this one is probably not worth the fight, as it is likely that if they do not know your name, you will not be seeing them again. Or that they will learn it if you do.

If you want to have fun, however, to make your point, Miss Manners will allow a confused look and quick circle around yourself to see what is “there,” followed by a temperate, “Oh, me? I wasn’t sure to whom you were talking. If you say ‘Mrs. Bertram,’ I’ll know you mean me.”

A couple of sounds are worse than nails on chalkboard, and that's the sound of your own voice. Buzz60’s Maria Mercedes Galuppo has the story.

Dear Miss Manners: My husband and I have an open relationship with another couple. When we are out in public together as a foursome, we sit with each other’s spouses.

While I am fine with light touches in public, my husband and the other wife go overboard and make out like teenagers. This is tacky, in my opinion, and quite embarrassing to the other husband and me. We have both expressed this to them, but they continue.

My husband said that someone once told them they were “a beautiful couple.” Although we are consensually open, is this behavior tacky? My husband is 65 and she is 51.

Gentle Reader: It seems to Miss Manners that in order for this to work, it requires rules and restrictions. Yes, the very things that you went into this arrangement hoping to avoid.

But if it is causing more pain than enjoyment for half of you, to say nothing of onlookers, to whom it is absolutely tacky, then the four of you must sit down and establish parameters for what is socially acceptable outside of closed doors. Presumably you have already figured out how to successfully manage what’s behind them.

Send your questions to Miss Manners at her website,; to her email,; or to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.


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