Dear Mary

Dear Mary: how do I stop a man making lewd comments?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. My wife’s closest friend and her husband visit us every couple of months or so. Without fail he will…

Dear Mary: what’s the polite way to ascertain someone's gender?

14 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. When my mother was widowed ten years ago she decided to take in lodgers to pay the gardener’s bills…

Dear Mary: what should we do about a possible thief in our school dormitory?

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. I run a very small mail-order company from home. Recently I received an exceptionally rude email from a disgruntled…

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Dear Mary: Plastic or wooden loo seats?

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. Please advise on how I can move on from a social impasse. My best friend of 50 years claims…

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Dear Mary: how can I hide that I’m no longer drinking?

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I have given up drink except on certain occasions when it would be really rude to refuse. What’s the…

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Dear Mary: How can I get my annoying children to answer my texts?

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I have learned through a third party that a friend, who is feeling particularly insecure these days, has not been…

Dear Mary: How can I deal with an aggressive Big Issue seller?

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I wondered if you could advise me on a rather embarrassing situation please. I sing in my local Church…

Dear Mary: Should I ever tip at a private club?

2 February 2019 9:00 am

 Q. I am an artist living in the UK and was charmed to be invited by a fellow artist, a…

Dear Mary: how do I stop a Londoner dominating my village book club?

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Q.A senior colleague, on discovering that I’m a friend of someone who has become quite famous, engaged with me warmly…

Dear Mary: We have new friends but can’t bear to eat in their filthy kitchen. What to do?

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. I note that (Dear Mary, 12 January) you advised your correspondent, resentful of Christmas expenditure, to offer instead ‘mutual…

Dear Mary: How do I get an answer from my elusive publisher?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. What is the current etiquette regarding chasing an opinion from a publisher to whom, by agreement and via a…

Dear Mary: is it ever acceptable to use a dental brush at the dinner table?

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. Whenever I go to the theatre or cinema with any man of 60-plus, he falls asleep, even when the…

Problems solved for Michael Fabricant, Liz Truss, Piers Morgan, Richard Madeley, Anthony Horowitz and others

15 December 2018 9:00 am

From Michael Fabricant MPQ. When I go for intimate meals at a restaurant with a friend, I am invariably asked…

Dear Mary: my Botox treatments make me look standoffish. How can I appear warm?

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Q. A friend and I are giving a combined Christmas drinks party for 120 people. It’s being held at her…

Dear Mary: How can I stop chatty friends from phoning when I’m meant to be working?

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Q. May I pass on a tip to anyone facing large family house parties at Christmas? I always used to…

Dear Mary: How can I turn my arrogant son into a snowflake?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am organising my 30th birthday party weekend at a large country house kindly lent to me by friends…

Dear Mary: How do I stop rabbits eating Mum’s graveside flowers?

17 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. A difficult couple of our acquaintance always object to other guests at dinner and can be very rude to…

Dear Mary: What can I do about loud train snorers?

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. At every drinks party one will be in mid-conversation with another guest and someone will walk over and loiter…

Dear Mary: How can I face the friends who warned me that my girlfriend would dump me?

3 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. Previously a long-term and content single man, earlier in the year I began a relationship with a wonderful girl,…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my wife from sabotaging my anecdotes?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. My wife and I have been married for 50 years. The marriage is basically sound but she has recently…

Dear Mary: My friend’s cooked breakfasts make me gag

20 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. My fiancé and I spend many great weekends with another couple. I am a vegetarian and quite particular about…

My long gossipy letters to an old friend get just a few words in response

13 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. An old friend shares aesthetic sensibilities and tastes in people. Hence we have sustained a highly enjoyable correspondence over…

Dear Mary: what do you say to neighbours who find you in your nightdress?

6 October 2018 9:00 am

Q. I recently gave a jolly dinner for eight friends (some old, some rather famous), all home cooking, ending with…

Dear Mary: Is it really forbidden to eat with a fork’s tines facing upwards?

29 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I have been invited to the birthday party of a distinguished public figure with whom we…

Dear Mary: Our insufferable children are rounding on our eightysomething neighbour

22 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. A neighbour, a wonderful old friend in his late eighties, is a marvellous raconteur. As a family we have…