Good morning! Here's today's question:
I try to be tolerant of people's quirks because none of us are perfect. However, I have a cousin whose table manners include licking his plate, sticking his finger in his nose, talking with food in his mouth and eating salad and olives with his fingers. My cousin does not have any medical condition that can explain this behavior. He has a Ph.D. and he is in his 60s. Am I required to accept invitations to dine at his house because I am his cousin? If I am allowed to repeatedly decline such invitations, what would be a polite and kind thing to say when he asks for a reason? Is there a better way to deal with this situation than just avoiding him?
What do you all think?
I'll post my response Friday (and I'll get my tardy response in to last week's question today). And are there cousins, coworkers, confederates in your life who are driving you bananas? Write to me -- or, save it for a live chat this Wednesday!
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Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.