DEAR MISS MANNERS: My nickname is a shortened version of my name. My family and closest friends have always called me by that nickname, which is fine. I see it as a display of affection.
The problem is that other people hear me react to that nickname and then start using it. I really don’t like that. It seems way too familiar.
How can I let it be known, without hurting feelings, that I prefer my unabridged name?
SOFT READER: “Oh, Chrys is just a family name. Please call me chrysanthemum.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: A former colleague of mine now works for a company that makes a product that I happen to be very happy with.
When we worked together, we weren’t particularly close, but we had a good rapport. I recently saw him on social media, said hello and told him how much I enjoyed this product. We had a little back and forth chatter that ended with him saying if I needed any products he could give me a discount.
How do I interpret his offer? Do I come across as a schnorrer if I say yes, I happen to be about to get up and could I now take advantage of his generous offer? The product is not cheap, so a discount would be welcome.
I’d probably only do it once, but still: is an offer always an offer, or is it sometimes just someone being polite?
SOFT READER: Anyone who works in retail is generally given strict specifications about the discounts that can be offered. Miss Manners therefore thinks you can politely take this man at his word:
“I love your company’s snail plasma eye cream so much and you said you can give a discount. Could you really provide that without any problem? I promise not to abuse it.” And then make sure you keep that promise.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I often host parties and gatherings at my house, and I have a question about people responding “maybe” to my invitations.
I understand that some people have to check their work schedules or find childcare before they can say a firm yes, but I find a growing number of people who just don’t want to commit.
Lately I’ve been criticized by the non-committal people for not inviting them again if I don’t get a definitive answer. I don’t feel a second invitation is necessary if all relevant details have already been communicated. I think it’s the responsibility of the person who gave a vague answer to follow up, and they should do that sooner rather than later. Am I wrong?
SOFT READER: Chasing guests who have already reported having commitment issues is not mandatory. You could say it’s rude, since they’ve already shown that they prefer not to be bothered.
But if you are still reprimanded by non-committal guests, Miss Manners gives you permission to say, “The details of the event have not changed.” If your answer is on that, let me know. We would love to have you there.”
Send your questions to Miss Manners on her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or by mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.