Dear Miss Manners • Is it inappropriate to ask those taking care of you — like a dental hygienist, dentist or manicurist, e.g. — if they have been vaccinated for the virus, or if they have been recently tested?
I had a tooth pulled recently, and began to wonder, due to their very close proximity to my open mouth, if it would be offensive to them if I asked. I would never ask someone about these things in normal times.
Gentle Reader • You would still have a right to expect a safe and clean environment. What do you think all of those fancy health notices on the walls are for?
These businesses have no qualms about holding you to a safety standard — even asking you to sign an affidavit before they will see you — so there is no reason to be embarrassed for asking for one in return.
Miss Manners suggests that when you make these appointments, you ask the staff what their safety protocol is — even if it is already listed on their website. Most businesses are eager to assure you that they are doing everything possible to safeguard their practice. Procuring these assurances is reasonable — and doing so in advance will spare you the awkwardness of having the conversation while someone’s (gloved) hands are in your mouth.
Dear Miss Manners • I am a first-time pregnant mom. While I’m not expecting to actually have a baby shower due to COVID, I also think that virtual baby showers can be a REAL DRAG. I have received a lot of feedback regarding how boring and tedious they are for everyone.
What might be the best way to send out baby registry links to family and friends? I do feel somewhat awkward sending this out, but over the years I have always contributed to similar events. It only seems fair that I receive some TLC, too!
Gentle Reader • The list of what those about to go through life’s milestones deem “only fair” could fill, well, several department stores with unnecessary items on overloaded registries.
At the risk of seeming wholly unfair, Miss Manners suggests that you refrain from issuing your list altogether and instead send an announcement after the baby is born. This will inevitably lead to people asking where you are registered, at which point — after modestly deferring — you may say that you have picked out a few items at “Baby, It’s Mine!” or whatever store you have chosen.
Yes, this will be after the fact and yes, that means you will have had to procure compulsory items on your own. But paying for one’s own household necessities is what is actually fair— if only everyone would agree to it.
Dear Miss Manners • Is it appropriate for a family member to ask to be taken to the airport for a last-minute vacation at 3:30 a.m. on a work day, when I start work at 7 a.m.? Not to mention during a pandemic.
I think this is inappropriate, but my sister thinks I am just not willing to help her out.
Gentle Reader • Both of those thoughts may well be true. Miss Manners recommends that next time, you helpfully suggest a ride-share app — or another hapless relative — in your stead.
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