Because You Are Polite

by Ginger Philbrick

I just spent almost an hour trying to identify who left a text on my phone inviting me to lunch. Her name was obviously not in my address book, because all I had to go on was her phone number. After searching several directories, I finally came across the number and attached it to the name of an acquaintance whom I had not texted before. I am looking forward to our lunch date, but the R.S.V. P. could have been a whole lot easier if she had just signed the text.

Frustrated Texter in White Stone

Dear Frustrated,

You are a most polite person! I daresay most of us would have called or texted the “anonymous” communicator and said something such as, “ Hello, this is Cynthia. I regret that I don’t have your name in my address book. Please tell me who it is that texted that lovely invitation to lunch!” or simply, “Hello, this is Pete, I just received a text from this number but I don’t have a name to attach to it. Can you help?”

You chose to go out of your way to identify the caller in order to avoid embarrassment on the part of either party. However, as innocent as the intention of your anonymous texter probably was, the social blunder was on her part. If we text someone for the first time, we should not assume our name is in their address book.

To be certain that the one who receives our text can immediately attach it to our name, we are wise to identify ourselves at the beginningHi, This is Sam—or at the end, with our name.

I hope you have a delightful lunch with your “newfound” friend. You certainly deserve such.

Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite LLC. You are invited to email your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at