Miss Manners stock photo

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a friend, “Maya,” who has been very cautious about the virus. She has for the most part stayed home, having groceries delivered and keeping up friendships via technology.

I respect her choices, but I’ve been quite a bit more “out there.” I go shopping, to the salon and out to restaurants. I wear a mask and social distance. Maya has “tsk, tsked” me this whole time and said some insulting things about my intelligence.

Well, guess who got the virus? She did! I have remained healthy and active and have tested negative several times.

Luckily, Maya was able to recover without hospitalization. I feel she owes me some sort of apology, or at least an acknowledgment that her “I’m better than you” attitude was wrong. Should I open a conversation or just let it go?

GENTLE READER: We try not to pick on sick people. Yes, Miss Manners knows that Maya was picking on you, but as you object to that, you should not be returning it in kind.

Besides, what is your point? That the virus can strike despite precautions does not mean that one should not take precautions.

If it is any comfort to you, not saying “nyah-nyah” is more effective than saying it. She will hear her own words better if you are silent.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband had to miss his old friend’s online birthday party because he had to work. He did call and wish him a happy birthday first thing in the morning, and he called his buddy again as soon as he got home from work.

Obviously, that was not good enough. Now they are not speaking.

We know that his wife does not like my husband, and previously caused a lot of trouble and heartache for him. I suspect that she is behind this.

Should he “apologize,” or should he just let this 68-year-old friendship go by the wayside?

GENTLE READER: The friendship has gone by the wayside, Miss Manners is sorry to tell you.

It doesn’t matter whether the wife was involved. The lack of respect for your husband’s legitimate scheduling conflict, and for his finding other ways to recognize the birthday, is so outrageous that it suggests the old friend was looking for an excuse to break things off. And found a particularly unpleasant one.

Yes, an apology should be given, but by the birthday celebrant. You should probably not stay up waiting for it.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I work as a housecleaner, and received gifts from my clients this past Christmas as tips or thank-yous for the work I did for them throughout the year. Do I write thank-you notes for the thank-you gifts? I don’t want them to think I am not grateful, but I feel as if I am thanking them for a thank-you.

GENTLE READER: You would not be thanking them for having thanked you. You would be thanking them for having given you those presents. Miss Manners urges you to do so.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at http://missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!