DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a 45-year-old professional woman who is employed in higher education. I am also a married mother with three adult children.
Like many people, I have a social media account with bland commentary on current events. I also have a relatively large anonymous account, which has tens of thousands of followers. I love this account, and I enjoy the chance to use sarcasm and wit.
Twice, my sister has asked if I was behind this particular account in what I would consider a joking manner. I denied it both times. A dear friend asked me if I had seen the account and mentioned that reading it feels like talking to me, but funnier. She asked, “It’s not you, is it?” then laughed. I denied it.
My husband doesn’t know anything about it, and my kids may or may not be mortified if they found out.
There is nothing on the account that would ruin my life; there have been no online affairs or flirting. However, I would like to keep this to myself. It could also somewhat diminish the professional persona I have cultivated with students.
In a case like this, is it permissible to lie? If I were to die suddenly and someone accessed my phone, it would certainly be discovered. Logging out of the account is something I have considered, but I decided it was too inconvenient when I want to post on a whim.
I have always planned to delete it sometime before I die, but if my demise were untimely and I am discovered, is this a betrayal? Should I delete the account?
GENTLE READER: Surely this is the plot of a rom-com.
In it, the husband unwittingly discovers the titillating social media posts and falls in love with its writing, fearful that this is a betrayal of his wife. But then the true identity is somehow discovered and the betrayal is hers!
A montage would ensue where the couple separates, pursues their own creative endeavors and then finally run into one another. And with renewed love and respect, and better communication, all would end happily.
Allow Miss Manners to spare you Steps 1 through 3. For the sake of your marriage, she recommends you confide in your husband only — and gain his assurance that he will keep the secret.
As for the others, Miss Manners will permit you to continue the charade of pretending that those who ask are joking — as long as you can believably back it up when you inevitably get found out.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: Although it does not happen often, I nonetheless find it quite irritating when someone rings my doorbell and knocks loudly at the same time. The doorbell is close to the door and sufficiently loud on its own.
What is the proper response to this — hopefully one that will cause the person to ring first, then listen before knocking?
GENTLE READER: A look of panic as you open the door, followed by, “Is everything all right?! Do you seek immediate shelter?!”
This, Miss Manners hopes, will at least give your guests pause to consider the alarming effect of their dual-handed assault on your door.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, [email protected]; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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