Mary Killen

Mary Killen writes The Spectator's Dear Mary column.

Dear Mary: should I have asked out my rush-hour crush?

16 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. On a train journey the other day I sat opposite someone I found immensely attractive. We struck up a…

Dear Mary: Should I pay to charge my electric car at a friend’s house?

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. An acquaintance suggested organising a celebratory dinner in honour of some mutual friends. He asked my husband and me,…

Dear Mary: How do I get rid of my terrible cleaner?

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. I have recently become a widow. Since my son is away at university, I had the idea of charging…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my grey-haired friend giving away my true age?

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. I never lie about my age but I try not to think — or talk — about it. Now…

Dear Mary: how can I improve a friend’s appalling table manners?

18 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. I recently attended a wedding which was (for me) quite ‘grand’, with a church ceremony followed by a reception.…

Dear Mary: How should my granddaughter deal with her date’s body odour?

11 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. My granddaughter Jane has been asked on a date to the Wolseley by George (both pseudonyms). Although she finds…

Dear Mary: How do we get our friends to pay for the carpet they ruined?

4 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have had some rather rich Argentines to stay. No one was able to come in to help before…

Dear Mary: how can I matchmake two dinner guests?

28 August 2021 9:00 am

Q. What is the best seating plan when you have a supper party where you are hoping to matchmake two…

Dear Mary: how do I stop my fat friends breaking my chairs?

21 August 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have two very longstanding and generous-hearted (female) friends. Both have always been overweight, but since Covid they have…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my husband repeating himself?

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Q. A very old friend has rented a holiday house and invited my husband and me to stay. The property…

Dear Mary: How do we tell our interior designer relative we don’t want her doing up our house?

7 August 2021 9:00 am

Q. I’ve just completed a six-month paid internship for a hedge fund manager. I was mostly in his private office…

Dear Mary: What is the etiquette of greeting a friend who is engaged in a ceremonial display?

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. Passing Buckingham Palace in a taxi the other day, I saw the ceremonial wing of the Household Division prancing…

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends asking to stay in my holiday cottage?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. My beloved wife has been studying Chinese metaphysics for 18 months. Our house and garden have been badly neglected…

Dear Mary: How do I avoid hugging at a funeral?

17 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. I have been double-vaccinated but am especially at risk and, since I know of at least four double-vaccinated people…

Dear Mary: How do I get my neighbours to tidy their front gardens?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. I live in a row of town houses with a communal strip of garden in front. Three of the…

Dear Mary: When is it acceptable to make a French exit?

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. The other night, while hosting a house party, I was one of only three people still chatting by the…

Dear Mary: How do we stop our friends’ dogs wrecking our house?

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have old friends who live in the northern hinterlands and have a property in Provence where they normally…

Dear Mary: Has lockdown de-civilised my husband?

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. Last night I went to dinner with people I had never met before. Because the host was a friend…

Dear Mary: How do we tell our friend that her hairstyle doesn’t suit her?

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. At a lunch party, I was getting on so well with someone I had not met before. She knew…

Dear Mary: should we exclude our friend for not having had his Covid vaccine?

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. Once restrictions are lifted, our annual walking group has planned a week’s walk with after-walk gatherings in a different…

Dear Mary: What is the etiquette around gifts for virtual weddings?

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have been invited to a virtual wedding. Is it correct form to send a present?— P.F., Barrow Street,…

Dear Mary: How do I tell my fiancee that she eats with her mouth open?

15 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. I’ve recently been approached by a very good friend who — with genuinely admirable candour and tact — pointed…

Dear Mary: How do I cope with colleagues’ bad habits now I’m back in the office?

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. I am placed in a social dilemma due to a proposed visit on the last weekend of June by…

Dear Mary: How can I stop my sister-in-law pinching food off my plate?

1 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. Since the relaxation of lockdown, my brother and his wife have started coming to our garden for takeaway meals.…