The Truth About Cats and Dogs and Why Would Miss Manners Call This Woman a Whore?

Men aren’t usually keen on the subtle nuances of female communication. For example Alice might say to her casual acquaintance Susan, “You picked a lovely day for this get together. The food was delicious, and your children are charming.” This could very well just mean what was said.

Or, depending on intonation and emphasis on certain syllables or words, Susan might interpret this statement to mean, “Well, I guess you couldn’t have picked a more sweltering afternoon for a picnic. The food was barely edible. Your children prove Darwin’s Theory of Evolution for me beyond any reasonable doubt, for surely your little brats are the missing link he spoke of.”

If Susan chooses to share with her husband the reason she is crying uncontrollably, and she simply repeats Alice’s statement verbatim, her husband will never understand why she is so upset. However, if Susan gives her husband her interpretation of the words Alice spoke, then he is left to wonder why someone they invited into their home would choose to be so rude to his wife.

I’m rambling up to a point here, so please bear with me. When a woman is being catty, another female will catch on to it much more quickly than a man will.

I think it is a noble trait in men that they are able to tune out such pettiness.
Yet, for this very reason, men miss out on a whole other realm where bitchiness is queen, and she who can make you feel like dirt in one sentence or less gets to wear the tiara that day.

I don’t play cat myself. I think it’s much more polite to say what you actually think than to hint at someone else’s inadequacies all the while pretending to be her friend. For instance, if I was the parent of that missing link kid, I’d rather you just say, “He’s not the brightest light-bulb is he? I’m guessing him at about 25 watts.”

I don’t think that’s a polite statement, but it beats you telling me every time you see me that your son is in the advanced classes again this year and asking if my kid is still struggling with the basics.

Anyway, what got me started on all of this is Miss Manners advice column. She is almost always rude to the people who write to her with questions. I read her column for laughs. I can’t take her seriously as any kind of authority on good manners, because she is, shall we say, meaner than a gutter snipe.

But, in her column yesterday, she was so out of line that I have to share it with you, Gentle Reader. So, I have copied here both the letter in question and her response to it.

Be afraid. Be very afraid:

Dear Miss Manners: I’m a college student about to enter the business world, and I was wondering if you could tell me what is appropriate attire for cocktail parties before I make a faux pas.

I thought a cocktail dress fell above the knee, but my roommate insists it can be any length, as long as it is sans sequins or other decoration. Could you please advise?

Gentle Reader: Miss Manners doesn’t suppose she could advise you to embark on a career in which the first thing you need to know is something other than how to dress for drinks.

All right, then. In any decent line of work, people wear their business clothes to office parties, ladies adding whatever festive touches they can add in the ladies’ room. You might want to be less decent when you go out socially, when cocktail dresses can be any length except floor length.

This response startled me. I literally almost jumped back from the newspaper. After regaining my composure, I read the column to Michael and asked him, “Is it just me, or did Miss Manners call this woman a whore?” He said, “Yes. Yes, she did.”

He didn’t even have to consult his Bitch-English Dictionary. He knew what was meant. Therefore, “Dear Bitchy” has outdone herself this time.

In defense of Miss Manners latest victim who now lies bloody on the floor, I must say this. The girl is in college, apparently learning something relating to her chosen field of work, so it is absurd to infer that the “first thing” she needed to know was “how to dress for drinks.”

Why does Miss Manners treat people so atrociously? More importantly, why do these poor women throw themselves to this lion, expecting her to do anything other than eat them up? If you write to her, the old biddy will almost always imply that you are:

A. Cheap

B. Ignorant

C. A slut

If suggesting that someone must be turning tricks to earn her living is a mannerly way to behave, then please allow me to slum with the rude folks. They might not always choose the proper silverware, but they won’t generally call someone a whore unless she offends them directly.

As a wise man by the name of Randy Travis once said, “A better class of losers suits me fine.”

Comments 4

  • I think i will start reading your web page from work, because you always make me smile! love you

  • One day someone ask her what to say to someone who sneezes more then once. Should I bless them again? She said you should say:
    1st snneze: Bless you
    2nd sneeze: Bless you again
    3rd sneeze: Are you alright?
    4th sneeze: Shouldn’t you be home in bed?
    I wish people really would take that advice so any day I felt like leaving work early I would just rub a cat in my face before going to the office. Before I could get settled in at work, I am sure several people would suggest I “be home in bed” Thank you miss manners for finding a loop hole to get out of work (if only readers would listen). Ms Manners is a mean little monster in my opinion that maybe needs to ask some questions of her own to Dr. Ruth and lighten up a bit.

  • I didn’t really find anything wrong with Miss Manners response. Rude would have been the more standard, “You know, there’s more important things to worry about than what you’re wearing, dimwit.” There are people that would say exactly that. Not knowing the college student in question, I can even relate to the sentiment. There are, after all, far too many people that think getting the clothes right sums up all of one’s obligations.

    I’ve always found Miss Manners to be entertaining while educating. It takes a really sharp person to hand out the wit that she does, while maintaining decorum.

  • It’s better than the 4th sneeze my mother taught me:

    “Go ahead and die already.”

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