Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ms. Manners

Before you worry that I am stealing a march on Ms. Muslim Manners from TMQ, this is a one-time post.

Dear Annie,

I am a college president, and I was recently at a fundraiser, attended mostly by people of my age and generation. There were maybe three people in the room who were in their 20's-30's, and two of them were alums of my college. When they approached me, we chatted briefly. I was sitting on the couch, drinking a glass of wine (not my first), and one of the alums was standing and talking to me. I congratulated her on her graduation, new job, and on the impending birth of her child. Turns out she isn't pregnant. I apologized and made a joke about it. Was my response incorrect?

Best,
Embarassed College Prez


Dear Prez,

your response was correct after you established that the young woman was not pregnant. However, as Dave Barry says, you should not congratulate a woman on her pregnancy unless you actually see the child coming out of her body. Did you not imagine that your comment coming from a position of authority, in a situation where the young woman was clearly age-inappropriate could have lasting effects? Badly done. In addition you could have at least pled drunkenness so that the poor woman wouldn't have to go home feeling fat, and also like her college president thinks that she's either a slut (no obvious ring/s), choosing motherhood over career, or both.

Best,
Annie


ps~ I am so much better than Amy Dickenson, who often gives bad advice, and tells people to ditch their friendships/family members. Cutting people out of your life is rarely the right answer.

2 comments:

Benjamin J. Cooper said...

Was that you, or the person standing next to you? Because I can't imagine anyone thinking you're pregnant.

AnnieGetYour said...

The President was totally talking to me. It was super-awkward.