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Miss Manners: Did I deserve this treatment for being a few minutes late?

Miss Manners: Did I deserve this treatment for being a few minutes late?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friend and I traveled out of town to attend an event. The event started at 2 p.m., and we agreed to meet at her home at 11 a.m. to drive to the destination together. Meeting at 11 allotted ample driving time, plus additional time for exploring the neighborhood prior to our event.

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As I was approaching her home at 11:03, I received a call from her, apparently concerned that it was three minutes past our meeting time and I had not yet arrived. I was within a minute of arriving, and in fact, parked my car shortly after answering the call.

Considering that we were not on a strict deadline and it was only three minutes past, I was surprised and upset that she felt the need to call me and inquire about my whereabouts. I felt a bit like a child being chastised by her mother. Was she out of line? Was I?

Perhaps I should have sent her a quick message to let her know I would be there shortly, but since I was driving, I did not feel compelled to do so. What are your thoughts?

GENTLE READER: That while your friend was perhaps being overly fastidious, you are making up for it with outsized outrage.

Miss Manners suggests gentle teasing over admonishment or deeply rooted resentment: “A little worried about punctuality, are we? Next time, I’ll send my ETA, but I knew I would be there almost exactly at the proposed time. I didn’t want to bother you with an extra phone call — especially while I was driving.”

That your friend felt no such compunction for your safety will be implied.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: There is a saying that is very common nowadays, and it bothers me. When I go to the bank, the post office or the grocery store and finish my transaction, the employee will often say, “Have a good one!”

What does that even mean? Have a good what? Do I get to remove the word “one” and fill it in myself with “day,” “night,” “holiday,” “vacation” …?

Where did this saying come from? Why can’t people use more words and be intentional about what they say? I think it is an odd saying, and a lazy one, but I don’t ever correct anyone who says it to me. I just reply with something like, “Have a good day!”

GENTLE READER: Most likely they cannot be more intentional because they do not know your plans. And Miss Manners feels certain that you would prefer this brief comment to a lengthy conversation so they can find out.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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