Dear Miss Pearl,
I have a relative who comes to visit for a week or two and she always brings her own food, towels and soap. I am a very neat and clean person, and I always have plenty of food in the house. I am somewhat offended but do not know how to tell her she is not practicing proper etiquette.
We all have our issues. Your relative seems to have some serious ones! In all honesty, it could be that she simply does not want to be a burden to you when she comes to visit.
She may have food allergies or perhaps she has jumped on the vegetarian bandwagon and doesn't want to trouble you at mealtime.
Maybe she has a skin condition and prefers her towels air dried. Let's cut to the chase. If she feels comfortable enough to come and visit you for an extended period of time, surely you can ask her why she brings her own food and "supplies.”
If the thought of asking her about this causes you distress, then maybe you shouldn't dwell on it. I, of course, would be glad to ask her for you because I want to know, too! I feel sure if she had any idea that her actions offended you she would be horrified. Enjoy your visit!
Dear Miss Pearl,
The response of, "Not a problem" when requesting something – more sweet tea, please; don't pack the grocery bags too heavy, please; could you please tell me where the light bulbs are located – just unnerves me. What would be the proper way to handle this rude response?
Well, on the one hand I can see your point. On the other hand, you should be happy that you even get a response!
So many people have simply not been taught how to speak correctly, and most employers are more concerned with employees showing up for work as opposed to their communication skills.
My friend, Sally, likes to say this in response, "You're right, it's not a problem. It's your job."
This sometimes goes right over their heads, or they may even get offended because as far as they are concerned they are being polite.
I see this as one of those times where you should not let yourself be eaten by the minnows....save your strength for the sharks in life. And, as always, set a good example!!
And Another Thing...
The other day I was driving – yes, slowly – through Ansley Park. It was a beautiful day, and I had my window rolled down.
As I was driving by Best Buy, a man stepped off of the sidewalk into the road and he yelled at me that "pedestrians have the right of way.” He was indeed correct in that pedestrians do have the right of way when they are in a pedestrian crosswalk, which he was NOT.
He wasn't even close to one! I politely hollered back at him – using my "nice" voice – that he was not in a crosswalk. I just wish that Little and Baby could have seen me "drop the mic" on him!
Miss Pearl is one of Newnan's leading authorities on modern etiquette. She gladly lends her advice to everyone whether they want it or not, because, "After all, it's all about the children and setting a good example for them." Her videos are available on her Facebook page, and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org