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Miss Manners, Judith Martin, Published March 24 2012

Miss Manners: 'Apology' not exactly soaked in remorse

DEAR MISS MANNERS: On a recent visit, my father was extremely unpleasant and made many nasty comments. When I spoke to him the next day, I received this “apology”:

“If I was a jerk yesterday, I apologize, but at my age I’m entitled to be a jerk.”

Is it me, or is that just an excuse and not a true apology?

GENTLE READER: It is not exactly soaked in remorse, is it? Nor should it fill you with confidence about his behavior in the future.

All the same, you owe your father respect. But you also owe him protection. Therefore, Miss Manners advises sitting down with him and suggesting, in a kindly way, that if he truly feels that he is no longer able to control his impulses, as he presumably did in the past, it may be time for you to take measures, such as handling his financial affairs, to avoid his suffering the consequences.

Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, dearmissmanners@gmail.com; or through postal mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.