Dear Mary

Dear Mary: What should I do when my host won’t serve the champagne I brought?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. Was I right to feel aggrieved when, having contributed a bottle of fine champagne to a small supper party,…

Dear Mary: I’m disabled – how can I stop my carer being so controlling?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am a disabled man with a good brain and an independent bent. However, I need help to wash…

Dear Mary: What should you do when friends invite you to lunch but don’t offer wine?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. I was invited to birthday drinks in London. On my way there the name of someone I haven’t heard…

Dear Mary: did our friends regift us out-of-date chocolates?

4 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. A university friend and I want to get an invitation to a very good shoot owned by a colleague…

Dear Mary: how can I tell my chatty masseur to stop talking?

27 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. Like many of his profession, Manolo, my most-proficient masseur, has the gift of the gab and maintains a garrulous…

Dear Mary: how can I stop myself procrastinating?

20 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am not a professional writer but on the strength of a short piece I contributed to a Festschrift…

Dear Mary: how can I make my timid husband ask for a longer haircut?

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. We sent out email invitations to our drinks party and have had too many acceptances. The venue has said…

Dear Mary: how can I stop my husband from hijacking my punchlines?

6 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. A woman I’ve known for years is getting divorced and rings me every day to talk about it. I…

Dear Mary: how do I stop my minister giving sermons about Brexit?

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. I belong to a religious congregation whose minister is politically minded. Every time I attend a service, I am…

Dear Mary: how do I stop a man making lewd comments?

23 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. My wife’s closest friend and her husband visit us every couple of months or so. Without fail he will…

Dear Mary: what’s the polite way to ascertain someone’s gender?

16 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. When my mother was widowed ten years ago she decided to take in lodgers to pay the gardener’s bills…

Dear Mary: what should we do about a possible thief in our school dormitory?

9 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. I run a very small mail-order company from home. Recently I received an exceptionally rude email from a disgruntled…

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Dear Mary: Plastic or wooden loo seats?

2 March 2019 9:00 am

Q. Please advise on how I can move on from a social impasse. My best friend of 50 years claims…

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Dear Mary: how can I hide that I’m no longer drinking?

23 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I have given up drink except on certain occasions when it would be really rude to refuse. What’s the…

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Dear Mary: How can I get my annoying children to answer my texts?

16 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I have learned through a third party that a friend, who is feeling particularly insecure these days, has not been…

Dear Mary: How can I deal with an aggressive Big Issue seller?

9 February 2019 9:00 am

Q. I wondered if you could advise me on a rather embarrassing situation please. I sing in my local Church…

Dear Mary: Should I ever tip at a private club?

2 February 2019 9:00 am

 Q. I am an artist living in the UK and was charmed to be invited by a fellow artist, a…

Dear Mary: how do I stop a Londoner dominating my village book club?

26 January 2019 9:00 am

Q.A senior colleague, on discovering that I’m a friend of someone who has become quite famous, engaged with me warmly…

Dear Mary: We have new friends but can’t bear to eat in their filthy kitchen. What to do?

19 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. I note that (Dear Mary, 12 January) you advised your correspondent, resentful of Christmas expenditure, to offer instead ‘mutual…

Dear Mary: How do I get an answer from my elusive publisher?

12 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. What is the current etiquette regarding chasing an opinion from a publisher to whom, by agreement and via a…

Dear Mary: is it ever acceptable to use a dental brush at the dinner table?

5 January 2019 9:00 am

Q. Whenever I go to the theatre or cinema with any man of 60-plus, he falls asleep, even when the…

Problems solved for Michael Fabricant, Liz Truss, Piers Morgan, Richard Madeley, Anthony Horowitz and others

15 December 2018 9:00 am

From Michael Fabricant MPQ. When I go for intimate meals at a restaurant with a friend, I am invariably asked…

Dear Mary: my Botox treatments make me look standoffish. How can I appear warm?

8 December 2018 9:00 am

Q. A friend and I are giving a combined Christmas drinks party for 120 people. It’s being held at her…

Dear Mary: How can I stop chatty friends from phoning when I’m meant to be working?

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Q. May I pass on a tip to anyone facing large family house parties at Christmas? I always used to…

Dear Mary: How can I turn my arrogant son into a snowflake?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

Q. I am organising my 30th birthday party weekend at a large country house kindly lent to me by friends…