Friday, July 19, 2019

The Case of the Derelict Boyfriend

Some good news from the advice columnist front. This time, as expected, it comes from the inimitable Miss Manners

Here is the letter:

I just had surgery, and my boyfriend wants to leave for the weekend with his friend. I feel very hurt. Is it just me?

I am sure that I do not need to tell you that the letter writer is entirely in the right. One can only feel dismay at a boyfriend who is such an insensitive clod. One does not know what has happened to American men, especially, one imagines, to millennial men, but this small slice of everyday life does not leave us with too much hope.

Naturally, Miss Manners grasps the situation:

One of the duties of a boyfriend (a girlfriend, too) is to demonstrate a more-than-passing interest in the object of his affections.

Miss Manners uses the word “demonstrate” advisedly. She has no objection to his feelings also being genuine; that is merely outside of the realm of etiquette. But no matter how deep his love, you cannot reasonably be expected to appreciate it while he is away skiing and you are eating applesauce through a straw.

Yes, indeed, it’s all about duty and responsibility, not about feeling. As opposed to certain other highly challenged advice columnists, Miss Manners understands that said boyfriend does not need to feel the feeling. He needs to be there, present and accounted for. 

What your girlfriend is recovering from surgery, you stick around. No matter what. The feeling does not matter. The action does.

Kudos to Miss Manners.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

Miss Manners KNOWS what she's doing. The boyfriend should stay, If he doesn't, the young lady will be well rid of him.