Category: Manners Matter

  • Manners Matter: Worried College Dad

    Dear Mary Pat, I’m really worried about my two sons, who just left to begin their freshman and junior year at college. We’ve had dozens and dozens of conversations about the importance of wearing masks and keeping distance in class and on campus. I’ve also reminded them that this is not a typical college experience, […]

  • Manners Matter: Can’t Say No

    Dear Mary Pat, I have a problem with saying no. I sign up for every committee, meeting, spring cleanup, fall cleanup and even the odd bake sale. I help out at my kids’ school when I can, even though I work full time. There is a limit to my time, and I feel overwhelmed most […]

  • Manners Matter: No Free Lunch … Even When There Should Be?

    Dear Mary Pat, I went on a casual job interview last week that happened to be over lunch. It was a friend-of-a-friend scenario, and we met outside at a restaurant. When the bill came, I assumed that he would pick up the check. He said, “Are you OK with splitting this?” I was a little […]

  • Manners Matter: Apologize When You Injure Someone

    Dear Mary Pat, My friend and I were sending texts back and forth to each other, complaining about another mutual friend and how annoying she can be. After a few messages, I realized that the friend we were complaining about was on the same text feed.  I instantly felt sick to my stomach. I reread […]

  • Manners Matter: Silent Neighbor

    Dear Mary Pat, I pass my neighbor in the hallway of our apartment building a few times a day. I say “Good morning” or make a comment about the weather – you know, just general chitchat – and I barely get a reply. Given the fact that I can’t see her facial expression under her mask, you’d […]

  • Manners Matter

    Dear Mary Pat, I purchased a wedding gift for a couple who’s getting married next month, but I’m no longer invited to their wedding because they had to scale the numbers back. I spent a little more than I normally would to begin with, and now I’m wondering whether it’s too much. I typically spend […]

  • Manners Matter: ‘Merely Trying to Make a Living’

    Dear Mary Pat, We own a restaurant here in Door County. We’ve been overwhelmed by the local support since the shutdown in March and the reopening at the end of May. So many of our local customers supported us with take-out orders and gift certificate purchases.  And because we love our community and know that […]

  • Manners Matter: With Facebook, Less May Be More

    Dear Mary Pat, My father-in-law is new to Facebook. He seems to think that: • Facebook will answer you if you ask it a question. (He confuses this with Siri.) • His opinions are the only ones that are correct. • Spending hours on Facebook will somehow make him better informed. • If he posts […]

  • Manners Matter: Cover Up Swimsuits in Restaurants, Stores

    Dear Mary Pat, I know we live in a resort area where swimsuits are common attire, but why do adults think it’s appropriate to go into a restaurant or store without a cover-up? If you’ve been at the beach all day and are going to pick up your dinner or pop into a store, layer […]

  • Manners Matter: The Reluctant Guest

    Dear Mary Pat, My wife’s brother and sister-in-law have a second home in Door County that they insist that we use when we visit here. I’m never fully comfortable since I’m afraid our kids are going to damage something, and to be honest, I’d be more relaxed if we stayed in a hotel where there […]

  • Manners Matter: Maintain Respect during Election Season

    Dear Mary Pat, The political ads have started, and election season is here. Ugh. I dread election years in regular circumstances, but this year is chaos on top of chaos. Friends are making assumptions about how I vote or how I should vote, and it’s exhausting. There aren’t exchanges of ideas anymore; rather, it’s people […]

  • Manners Matter: Not Ready for Visitors

    Dear Mary Pat, Our niece and nephews always stay with us when they visit Door County in late June. We’ve been telling them that we don’t want to confirm any plans just yet because we’re still concerned about the spread of the virus. Now that it’s getting closer, their parents want a firm answer so […]

  • Manners Matter: Speak Up Online … or Not?

    Dear Mary Pat, My friend and I differ on what we post on our business social-media accounts. I believe that you should take a stand for your beliefs and be as vocal as possible when you see something wrong or unjust. And I also think that as a business owner, I have a responsibility to […]

  • Manners Matter: Our Wedding, Our Way?

    Dear Mary Pat, My fiancé and I were supposed to get married in May, and obviously, we had to cancel. Our original wedding was supposed to have 265 guests and be fairly over the top, if I’m honest. We decided to hold off until next May and plan the exact same wedding then. After thinking […]

  • Manners Matter: Tired of Talking about COVID-19

    Dear Mary Pat, Are there other topics to discuss besides COVID-19? I didn’t even like to write that word because I’m so tired of talking about it all the time. I remember a time during the not-so-recent past when we used to talk about movies, sports, what our grandkids were up to, what our children […]

  • Manners Matter: Staying Put for Memorial Day Weekend

    Dear Mary Pat, My best friend wants to go away for Memorial Day with her husband. She wants us to go along, but my husband and I don’t think it’s safe yet.  Should I tell her the real reason or just make an excuse? Signed, Staying Put Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Dear Staying Put, She’s your […]

  • Manners Matter: Unplug!

    Dear Mary Pat, I was reminded last night that we do need to unplug from informational overload. My husband said that from now on, conversation at the dinner table won’t be about the virus or work, and that we all need to put our phones away in the evening.  He is absolutely right. We are […]

  • Manners Matter: Prefer to Shop Local

    Dear Mary Pat, We have been staying at home for a month and a half now and go out only when absolutely necessary – so really just to get groceries and supplies and to get some exercise with a quick walk around our neighborhood.  Our adult children live six hours away and are so worried about […]

  • Manners Matter: Feeling Overwhelmed

    Dear Mary Pat, I’ve had challenges in my business before, but none quite like this. To say that I feel overwhelmed and helpless wouldn’t come close to describing it properly. I have no idea when the season will start; I’ve had to lay off half my staff; and I’m working hard every day without getting […]

  • Manners Matter: Worried Mom

    Dear Mary Pat, My ex-husband and I split custody of our two middle school children. While we were married, he often accused me of being a “helicopter mom” and said I was too protective. I always thought that he wasn’t cautious enough when it came to our kids, and now because of this virus, I’m […]