DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve recently been in a very enviable position with a big promotion and raise. Moreover, I have always lived well below my means.
Despite inflation, we have some great gardeners who haven’t raised their prices this year. I’m afraid he thinks he’ll lose his business if that happens, but with the skyrocketing costs of things like fuel and food, he can’t imagine how difficult it would be to take care of a growing family.
I want to give him a big seasonal bonus (on top of his year-end/Christmas gift) or add surcharges/tips to each of his bills, but I don’t want to upset him .
Kind Reader: Miss Manners believes the best way not to offend him is to treat this as a business deal per se, not as a charity.
Contractors usually specify the price, but you are the employer. Tell him how happy you’ve always been with his job and that you’d like to raise the fees you pay to $X.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I’ve been dating my girlfriend for a little over two years. We are madly in love, respect each other and communicate well. Basically, we both seem to have hit the relationship jackpot. But there is one thing I hide from her and I don’t know if I should feel her guilt or reveal it.
Occasionally play simple, low stakes card games. At the start of each turn, you can remove cards from your discard pile, but doing so is always a mistake as you lose the chance to get the cards you need to win.
My girlfriend doesn’t like her pile to be “cluttered” so she always takes it from the dump pile. She doesn’t seem to realize that this is a losing battle. I thought I’d point it out, but why are you revealing your strategy when you’re each other’s only rivals?
because of love? I am participating to win it. Should I feel guilty?
Kind Reader: Fifteen years later, when your then-wife gets it, what are you going to say?
“I wanted to win” is unlikely to be received affectionately. “I knew you’d get it eventually without my help. I’m so proud of you” is worse. And feeling guilty about leaving her in her dark accomplishes nothing.
The questions you should ask are: How do I tell her?
Miss Manners suggests doing it in a straightforward way. We play just for fun. I never really thought about it. ‘If she doesn’t want to feel guilty about telling her lies, it might be time to learn a new game.
(Ask questions for Miss Manners at her website www.missmanners.com, email email@example.com, or mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. .)
Copyright 2023 Judith Martin
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