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Advice | Miss Manners: I keep stumbling into proposals

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Advice | Miss Manners: I keep stumbling into proposals


Dear Miss Manners: Twice, now, I have become an accidental intruder on a couple’s proposal during my regular walking excursions (after work and on weekends).

The first occurred on the campus of the university where I am employed, near a pad-mounted transformer and busy roundabout. I was willing to chalk my unfortunate presence up to his poor choice of venue. The second, however, occurred in a public park near an admittedly picturesque waterfall. On both occasions, I elected to politely avert my eyes and move along as hurriedly as possible without becoming a distraction, and to minimize any chances of accidental photobombing.

As this happenstance teeters dangerously on the edge of becoming a pattern, though, I thought it prudent to request a professional opinion: When such an intimate moment is made a public spectacle, what is the mannerly course of action for passersby? Was I correct in my choice to look away and swiftly move on? Should I instead stop and wait for them to finish before proceeding, or return in the direction from which I came?

Or, God forbid, am I obligated to offer my congratulations (or, I suppose, condolences, as the case may be) to these total strangers? Any thoughts are appreciated.

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Some thoughts might be: Why are they making a public spectacle of themselves? Wouldn’t such an important intimate moment be best savored in private between the two of them? Doesn’t photographing the moment inspire them to perform roles instead of reacting naturally? Do they believe that video will not provoke ridicule in any future children they might have?

Oh, well. Miss Manners realizes how difficult it would be nowadays to convince people that real life is more rewarding than a dramatized version.

So, yes — as much as you can, keep out of the way and out of photo range. And while a cheery “Congratulations!” would be fine if you feel so inclined, it is not obligatory. You have not been hired as an extra in these public dramas.

Dear Miss Manners: My husband is an excellent cook and usually prepares and serves most, or all, of the meal when we invite people over for dinner. I participate in a variety of ways, including finding recipes, making suggestions about the menu, and doing some chopping or stirring, depending on what we are making. I also tidy up the house beforehand and set the table.

Surprisingly (to me), when guests leave, they often thank my husband for the dinner but not me, as though I am not one of the hosts. I think that it would be more appropriate for guests to thank both of us. Also, I wonder if it would make a difference if the genders were reversed.

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While you presumably do not want to hear your guests saying, “Thank you so much for tidying up,” Miss Manners agrees that they are remiss. Whatever you do or do not do, you are the hostess. But while there may be a gender factor here, there is also, nowadays, an unfortunate preoccupation with food as the most important element of a social event. So your guests may be thinking of this as a meal out, rather than a convivial evening.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.



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Washington

Charges filed against 2 suspects accused of killing Washington County teen, injuring another

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Charges filed against 2 suspects accused of killing Washington County teen, injuring another


1 woman dead after shooting in Washington County

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1 woman dead after shooting in Washington County

00:20

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SOUTH FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — Charges have been filed against two suspects who are accused of shooting and killing a teenager in Washington County earlier this month.

Washington County District Attorney Jason Walsh on Monday announced that charges have been filed against Windale Barfield Jr. and Karon Whitlock in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Annalaya Wilkerson and the wounding of another juvenile female.

Wilkerson and the juvenile were found shot on the side of Jolly School Road in South Franklin Township on April 13.

Both men have been charged with criminal homicide, conspiracy, attempted homicide and aggravated assault, according to a press release from the district attorney.

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Identifying the Top 4 NFL Draft Needs for the Washington Commanders

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Identifying the Top 4 NFL Draft Needs for the Washington Commanders


The Washington Commanders have one major need on their roster entering NFL Draft week, and that of course is at the quarterback position.

So while we sit down to identify the four biggest needs for the Commanders to address this weekend, we’re going to skip over that one to get four groups that are not talked about nearly as much these days.

And we’re starting with the biggest need for new head coach Dan Quinn and his Washington squad, an offensive tackle.

NEED NO. 1 – OFFENSIVE TACKLE

They’re not the sexiest picks ever but if you get them right your quarterback will look the part plenty for both of them.

Tackles and quarterbacks are connected directly because if one doesn’t do his job efficiently on a given snap the results could be disastrous.

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For the Commanders this means looking at the duo of left tackle Cornelius Lucas and right tackle Andrew Wylie and realizing there’s at worst a need to find a longterm option at each position.

The bigger need here appears to be at left tackle and even if Lucas is starting next season it needs to be because he beat out a relatively high draft pick to do it.

NEED NO. 2 – GUARD

So we’re not traveling very far for this one, and even though Washington did some solid work bringing in Nick Allegretti from the champion Kansas City Chiefs, he said himself he came here for an opportunity to win a starting job.

You can’t win something that isn’t fought over and while Chris Paul might provide Allegretti a solid fight by himself this new Commanders leadership group would be wise to look out for another potential combatant to add to the mix on Day 2 or 3.

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NEED NO. 3 – CORNERBACK

Benjamin St-Juste appeared to take a step backwards last year, either due to injury or drop in coaching ability around him, and rookie Emmanuel Forbes looked lost for much of his rookie season.

Again, the same ailments that impacted St-Juste may have very well impacted Forbes, but the bottom line is neither looked the part of reliable shutdown corner in 2023 and that fact leaves the door open for a new addition to the room, possibly coming in the top 100 picks.

NEED NO. 4 – PASS RUSHER

Something tells us the term edge will apply to both defensive ends and outside linebacker types this year in Washington.

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Certainly the same player might be doing a little of both, but there’s a real possibility this team employs each type of player for the job of rushing opposing quarterbacks off the edge this season.

Honestly, the Commanders are in a position where any group they don’t address with a draft pick will be pointed at as a potential flaw, but it’s unlikely every group gets added to via draft pick.

And just because a need exists, if the right talent isn’t there to match it, there may not be a selection made.

Washington has done a good job of giving itself the chance to be as flexible as possible in this year’s NFL Draft, but some things remain in need of addressing, and these four group should be at the top of the list if the right player presents himself at the right selection.



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Advice | Carolyn Hax: How to revive a friendship killed by a hostile text?

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Advice | Carolyn Hax: How to revive a friendship killed by a hostile text?


Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: Can you suggest a way to try to save a friendship that I care about, even though my friend basically dumped me via text message? I hate text for communication about feelings and relationships. She even knew that. Just call me!

In her out-of-the-blue and, as it turns out, final text message to me, she basically pooped on my lap and ran away. I tried calling her immediately to clarify, but she did not pick up.

I miss her, and I have no idea why she did that. It’s a really hurtful way to end a friendship, where I don’t even get to talk and find out what’s really going on. Would you try another way?

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Ghosted: No, I wouldn’t. Her message is clear, and it consists both of the message itself and of its delivery method. By your description, she seems to have chosen deliberately to drop it and hide where you can’t reach her to respond.

It’s a rotten thing to do to a friend. It’s not okay.

But it is also, again, clear. So, your continuing to try to give your side of the story or extract hers would cross a boundary. Accept the verdict, crappy as it is, and understand the friend and friendship weren’t as healthy as you thought.

Re: Ghosted: Why is a healthy withdrawal after consistent boundary violations considered “ghosting” or “canceling”? If you think about whether the person whose attention you feel entitled to has any interest at all in interacting with you, then you may be able to solve your mystery.

Anonymous: I will be happy never to see “cancel”-anything again, plus true “ghosting” would have been silence without even the text.

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And, as I said, further pursuit of this friend would be to violate the friend’s clear boundary.

But: There’s nothing in the letter that says Ghosted made “consistent boundary violations.”

When there is an established friendship, and there isn’t abuse, I think it’s still lousy to say something bad about someone and not allow them any rebuttal.

Other readers’ thoughts:

· I also had someone do this. Not only would I not advise reaching out further, but I think you also have to question the idea that a conversation would have gone any better. Someone who would do this is not someone with whom you’re going to have a satisfying conversation or reach a satisfying resolution. She may even have done you a favor with the text ghosting.

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· I ended a long friendship by “ghosting” the other party after realizing the extent of their emotional manipulation of me. It was the only way I could do it without them trying to manipulate me again.

I think about how much better off I am with that person no longer in my life. It might sound harsh, but I did it for me, and I’m proud of doing what’s best for me, even if some people think I owed it to them to tell them why I stopped talking to them.

· The text wasn’t your first clue. Trust me: The signals were there before. You just didn’t see them. Accept the text as the only way to get through to you.

· I agree, the text breakup probably didn’t come out of nowhere — but I disagree that it means Ghosted was somehow at fault and that this was the “only way” to get through. I don’t think we know enough to make that judgment.



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