Mary Killen

Mary Killen writes The Spectator's Dear Mary column.

Dear Mary: Must I have name badges for guests at my wedding?

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Q. My husband-to-be and I both work full time. We are getting married from his family HQ and his kind…

Is it rude to run out of cartridges?

Dear Mary: How can I escape the New Year party that just won’t give up?

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Q. For the past two New Year’s Eves we have ducked an annual party given by some acquaintances, who are…

Dear Mary: Our granddaughters are giving money away to a cause we do not support. Should we cut off their funding?

23 January 2016 9:00 am

Q. We have two granddaughters working hard and happily at university. It is our pleasure to give them some cash…

Dear Mary: What do you do when too many people accept a party invitation?

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Q. What can be done when more people than you can cater for accept an invitation? We are giving a…

Dear Mary: My neighbour is planning a girls’ night in — how can I escape?

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Q. Although I have met most of the fellow occupants of my building at residents’ meetings, we don’t socialise. However…

Dear Mary: On a troublesome festive invitation

2 January 2016 9:00 am

I have been alone in the country this festive season as my adult children and most of my friends are…

Dear Mary solves problems for Nicky Haslam, Nigel Slater, Professor Mary Beard and others

12 December 2015 9:00 am

From Nicky HaslamQ. Being considered something of a guru on the subject of things common, can you advise me how…

Dear Mary: How to stop someone from giving my tiny children expensive clothes that they never wear?

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Q. Is there a tactful way to deter certain people from buying clothing for one’s tiny children as Christmas presents?…

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Right on time

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Are you habitually late for social events on the grounds that everyone knows how busy you are and that you…

(Photo: Getty)

Dear Mary: How can I protect my sick husband from his friends?

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Q. My husband is, in a word, adorable. However, following a substantial brain operation, his doctor has told him that…

Dear Mary: How can I shut up business travel bores?

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Q. I work in the London art market. Often, when I run into a fellow dealer and ask how they…

Dear Mary on cheering up an ageing Adonis....

14 November 2015 9:00 am

Q. The other night, as I arrived at the John James exhibition on Fulham Road, I stopped to say hello…

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Dear Mary: why are young women dyeing their hair grey?

7 November 2015 9:00 am

Q. I have lunch once a month with an old university friend. Over the years we have both thickened out…

Dear Mary: How can we make our dinner guests go?

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Q. Many of our best and oldest friends have done so well they have stopped work. Meanwhile my husband still…

Dear Mary: How can I greet friends without clashing specs?

24 October 2015 9:00 am

Q. As an old trout, large in height and breadth, I have taken a leaf out of the documentary Advanced…

Dear Mary: Another way to deal with a maddening blackhead

17 October 2015 8:00 am

Q. Might I suggest an alternative solution to E.B. of London’s problem (3 October) about the person sporting a ‘maddening’…

Dear Mary, do I have to go to see my friend perform again?

3 October 2015 8:00 am

Q. A friend of mine is performing a recital in Dublin and has sent round an email advertising the time…

Dear Mary: How can I make visiting friends realise it is a burden to take them to see the sights?

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Q. I am an impoverished artist living in a famously cheap European city, largely for reasons of economy. I love…

Dear Mary: How do I address a magistrate of indeterminate sex?

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Q. Some years ago, while appearing as a barrister before a bench of three magistrates in the youth court, I…

Dear Mary: A horrid woman accused me of hogging a spare train seat

12 September 2015 9:00 am

Q. I regularly travel on the Ashford-St Pancras train and usually put my case on the seat next to me…

Dear Mary: how can I resist peer pressure to go nude swimming?

5 September 2015 9:00 am

Q. I am going on a late holiday with a group of people who are keen on nude swimming, which…

Dear Mary: How do you persuade your drunk friend to leave a party when the taxi arrives?

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Q. How do you persuade someone drunk to leave a party when it doesn’t make sense for them to stay?…

Dear Mary: Is there a tactful way to tell a dear cousin she needs a lump removed from her face?

22 August 2015 9:00 am

Q. How can you tactfully tell someone that the large skin tag or blob they have grown in the centre…

Dear Mary: I don’t want perfumed people to hold my baby

15 August 2015 9:00 am

Q. Is there a polite way of not letting someone hold your baby? I love giving mine to people to…

Dear Mary: I was at the dinner party when the text came disinviting me

8 August 2015 9:00 am

Q. While renting in Rock last week, I ran into an acquaintance who invited me to join her large house…