Modern manners

Dear Mary: did our friends regift us out-of-date chocolates?

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. A university friend and I want to get an invitation to a very good shoot owned by a colleague…

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: 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…

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…

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…

Why I’ve changed my name

10 November 2018 9:00 am

As someone who has recently discovered he is black, I have watched with incredulity the treatment doled out by the…

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 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…

Are you a politically correct pervert?

20 October 2018 9:00 am

The rise of ethical decadence

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: I had £300 stolen while at a friend’s house. Should I tell them?

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. Following a small dinner last night in a private house, I got home to find £300 missing from my…

The neo-Marxist takeover of our universities

8 September 2018 9:00 am

According to Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, America’s universities have succumbed to ‘safetyism’, whereby students are protected from anything that…

Dear Mary: How can I weed out the party ‘flakes’?

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Q. I invited four younger colleagues, all in their mid to late thirties, to go for a meal at a…

How should you deal with a competitive best friend?

11 August 2018 9:00 am

Q. Good friends, who moved away from our city suburb a couple of years ago, retain a pied-à-terre the better…

Dear Mary: How do you deal with a monologuing fellow guest on board a yacht?

14 July 2018 9:00 am

Q. A long-standing friend has an admirer of some means. He has invited her to borrow his fully staffed and…

Dear Mary: How does a Wimbledon ball girl deal with a disgusting player?

7 July 2018 9:00 am

Q. I’ve accepted an invitation to stay in a small house party in France. My host hasn’t mentioned who else…

The #MeToo movement could be the saviour of sex

23 June 2018 9:00 am

Forbidden flirting is more exciting

Dear Mary: What is the correct form when you find someone hiding from you in a cupboard?

16 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. Is there a tactful way to ask people with whom you’ve been interacting on an almost daily basis over…

How to lay a trap for a suspected nosy parker

9 June 2018 9:00 am

Q. My father has worked pro bono for many years on the advisory board of a certain company with a…

Dear Mary: How can I explain the cushion I must take everywhere to sit on?

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Q. I have incurable, inoperable back pain that severely hinders my ability to sit and necessitates my taking a cushion…

Dear Mary: At a smart dinner party, is it wrong to ask for the wifi code?

21 April 2018 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I are excited to have been invited to dinner by our most important neighbour. However our…