Miss Manners: Should I wait to eat while my husband takes meal photos?

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Dear Miss Manners: I understand and adhere to the rule that one should wait for everyone at the table to be served before starting to eat, unless the not yet served parties are reluctant and encourage others to eat.

Is it also considered necessary to wait until others have photographed their meal and posted it on social media?

This problem occurs to me not in restaurants, but at home. My husband and I split up the cooking tasks so we cook each on different nights. He tends to make elaborate, time-consuming postings that he is rightly proud of. So he shares pictures of the coated results on social media along with a section explaining the ingredients and cooking.

Meanwhile, I sit hungry and watch my food get cold. He considers it rude if I start eating before he is also ready to pick up his fork or chopsticks.

I believe that once we have both been served, it is up to each individual to decide how to proceed – whether to dive into the meal or do a photoshoot.

I have observed that this behavior also occurs in restaurants, even though those who write only consume the meal and did not produce it. I’m hungry for your verdict.

It will be in your favor. Miss Manners hereby declares that the photography of a meal is to consume it, in the sense of nourishing its aesthetics. You can start eating.

Dear Miss Manners: As much as I love writing and receiving handwritten letters, I have become so busy that I have started using websites that send e-cards instead of just not sending anything. I sent a sympathy e-card to a 20-year-old, thinking he was too young to remember when snail mail was the norm.

I felt terribly guilty about being so lazy. Would you say that sending a sympathy e-card is in terrible bad taste?

Your repeated use of the word “terrible” leads Miss Manners to believe that you are exaggerating in the hope of being excused on the grounds that you are feeling anxious by deviating from the proper standard. Or that you’re trying to make Miss Manners look silly because you consider this a serious offense.

No, it’s just what you say it is: a quick way to register sympathy without the hassle of offering personal comfort by writing about what the deceased meant to you. If you really had a terrible time throwing this away, you would not even mention the extra few minutes it takes to write.

Dear Miss Manners: As the mother of the bride, I understand that this is my place to host the bridal show. That said, what other etiquette is associated with this role, and when do I involve the bridesmaids and the maid of honor?

Such cases need not bother you as you have been misinformed about the basic premise. Miss Manners assures you that it is not the bride’s mother’s place to give her daughter a shower, but only to be grateful if the bride’s friends decide to do so.

New Miss Manners columns will be announced Monday through Saturday washingtonpost.com/advice. You can send questions to Miss Manners on her website, missmanners.com. You can also follow her @RealMissManners.

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