Mary Killen Mary Killen

Dear Mary | 25 May 2017

Also in Dear Mary: How can I save my timid nails girl from a bully; how to cope with back-to-back interviews

Q. Re getting away from bores at drinks parties (Dear Mary, 20 May). I take issue with the idea that you even need to give an excuse. I usually just say: ‘Great to see you but I suppose you and I had better circulate now.’
— E.G., Wiltshire

A. You are quite right. After all, your host would be furious if you got ‘stuck’ and monopolised the most interesting person in the room, for example Elon Musk. It is a guest’s duty to circulate and I will U-turn on last week’s edict.

Q. My son’s godfather rang him in winter after forgetting his 21st. He asked for his postcode in Bristol (where my son was then at university) so he could send a gift. My son has now left uni and tells me that nothing arrived. His godfather, an MP, is very reliable. Should he tell him nothing came, as he might be thinking my son is rude not to have thanked him?
— Name and address withheld

A. MPs’ secretaries are usually super-diplomatic so your son should ring up his godfather’s secretary about this predicament. He or she will understand that he is not being pushy and, since the secretary is likely to have been the one to have packed and despatched the present (maybe even to have chosen it) some light may be shed on the matter. Otherwise the secretary can sidestep embarrassment by asking the MP: ‘Do you have any good ideas for a gift for a godson’s 21st? Have you given one recently?’

Q. I would like to come to the rescue of the nail technician at our local beauty salon.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in