Miss Manners: Should I trick my friends into swimming with sharks? – Lifotravel

Dear Miss Manners: I graduated with a PhD two years ago. My friends have been asking me nonstop to come for a visit. However, every time I visit, they just want to go barhopping, something I am not a fan of.

Now they are saying that if I come visit, they will do something I want, as long as there is a low risk of getting sick, injured or killed. They said no to roller coasters and skydiving.

I have found an option to go cage-diving with great white sharks, no scuba certification required. Would I be in the wrong just to tell them we are going whale-watching, and then, once the shore is out of sight, tell them we are actually going diving with sharks?

Are you really asking Miss Manners if it is okay to trick your friends into doing something dangerous? What is wrong with just going out for coffee?

She further wonders how your PhD is relevant. But even if it is in “Fear Immersion Therapy,” subjecting your friends to things they do not want to do seems cruel and superfluous. Surely, catching up on your adventures over the past few years should be thrilling enough.

Dear Miss Manners: I was at a baby shower for the daughter of a friend. The venue was beautiful, and they had a corner set up with very nice decorations and a lovely bench. All the gifts were placed in this area.

After the meal, I saw that people began to leave. In conversation with the mother-in-law of the expectant mother, I mentioned, “When she starts to open the gifts …”

The MIL said that she would not be opening the gifts at the shower; she’d open them at home. She said this was the new thing, although she was not fond of the idea. Of course, I did not say anything.

I have never been to a baby shower where this was done. I know it’s common at weddings, but I’ve not seen it at showers. I would have expected that since she was not opening the gifts, she would perhaps say something to each guest like “Thank you for coming,” “Thank you for the gift” or something to that affect (I hope I don’t have my “affect” and “effect” confused!).

She really didn’t go over to any of the guests to say “hello, thanks for coming,” anything like that. She basically stood with her friends the entire time, talking. This is not a young girl, as she just turned 40. After a while, her husband came and loaded up the gifts.

Is this really how showers are done now? I hope I’m not sounding like a prude for asking.

Not at all. Ignoring your guests affects them negatively, which is not usually a host’s desired effect. (See what Miss Manners did there?)

Although a shower’s main event, if you can call it that, is to open presents, Miss Manners has no objection to skipping it. It hardly qualifies as entertainment, and most of the time, the presents are from a list to which everyone has been privy, anyway.

What Miss Manners does object to is being rude to one’s guests. Just because the purpose of the party is to accumulate inventory does not mean that one has to act as if it is.

New Miss Manners columns are posted Monday through Saturday on washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners at her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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