My soon-to-be-ex-friends say I’m childish

My soon-to-be-ex-friends say I'm childish

DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper way to break off mutual friendships you have with an ex, so that no one feels offended?

Judith Martin 

I don’t want a painful reminder of the ex who broke my heart. My mutual friends are not taking it well, with me breaking up with them; they readily side with the ex and call me childish for the whole thing.

GENTLE READER: No one wants to be told that their presence stirs painful memories. So if you do not want to be accused of overreacting, keep your reasons to yourself.

Miss Manners trusts you can find less offensive excuses for declining invitations. This is not quick — you may need to decline multiple invitations — but it is proper.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am staying at home with my two teenage daughters. My parents, who live about 10 minutes away, are elderly and very vulnerable to the virus. They are observing strict quarantine and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

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