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Miss Manners: She screamed at us for going ahead of her in line. Were we in the wrong?


DEAR MISS MANNERS: Several Thanksgivings ago, we were shopping in a really busy grocery store. A woman ahead of us had parked a near-empty cart in the checkout line, and was running back and forth adding items to it. The rest of us were waiting with our full carts.

She disappeared for quite a while at one point, and the line was moving, so we moved her cart out of the way and moved up toward the checkout. She came back and began screaming at us for moving her cart, being loud and abusive about how we had tried to steal her spot in line. She barged back in front of us and checked out.

Is it OK to “save” a checkout line spot and then do your shopping? It seemed to us to be pretty entitled.

GENTLE READER: Spot-saving in checkout lines must properly be confined to the quick retrieval of one item in close proximity, with no chance of the line ending before your return. Miss Manners assures you that you and your line-mates were not the ones … ahem … out of line. The screamy lady was.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My daughter, age 28, lives in the same town as her father and me. She comes over for dinner every couple of weeks and usually asks to bring her boyfriend, Doug, age 29.

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