Miss Manners: I want my brother to stop insulting our hometown

Dear Miss Manners: My family grew up in a lovely area. I still live here while my brother and sister-in-law moved out of state. From time to time my brother asks me if they can stay with me for a weekend to attend events and visit family and friends.

I like being in company and I welcome visitors whenever I can. But since they moved, my brother and his wife have started making negative comments on me about the state we all grew up in – our governor, traffic, high cost of living, time, and so on – for all the time stay at my house!

I don’t know how to respond to these comments. I tell my brother before the next visit that he is welcome, but ask him to leave the negative comments at home? Do I decline the request for him and suggest that I choose another brother to be with?

I smile and tell them I’m so glad they found a better place for themselves? I get stressed out just thinking about the next visit.

Why your brother raised in your area, he probably thinks he has free license to insult him, forgetting that his brother has remained faithful and does not feel the same.

But that doesn’t mean, Miss Manners assures you, that you have to listen. You might say, “I know you’ve never given much thought to our hometown and I’m so glad you’ve found a place that’s more suitable for you. But I still love him here, and when you despise him, it makes me sick. I love having you in my house and you seem to enjoy staying here so maybe while you are here, you can find some things you still like about the place that I still clearly love.

So Miss Manners suggests they take the conversation away from local news.

Dear Miss Manners: I’m organizing a brunch in honor of a much younger friend and I only know four of the 47 guests. Would it be terribly tacky for me to have guest tags?

I am 67 and the likelihood of me remembering all names is very small. If applicable, the event will be held in my home.

The wish of Getting in touch with all your guests is commendable, but Miss Manners assures you that no one will expect you to remember all 47 names. The advantage of having so many guests in the house is that you are unlikely to have to greet anyone more than once.

Name tags look a little professional or like a high school reunion. If you need to refer someone, surely your young guest of honor will discreetly come to your aid or abandon you later in an exciting post-party game like “What was the woman with the purple hair and the psychology degree. ? “

The new Miss Manners columns are published Monday through Saturday washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanns.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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