Minding Our Manners Again

A witty columnist sees a new concern with civility

Bastardy was the harsh, old-fashioned word, then illegitimacy, but now the letter asks a little desperately about a "nonmarital family." The husband in the affair has a nonmarital wife who is doing her best "not to keep things secret" and a nonmarital child of nine who "knows what the dynamics are." But there is also the marital wife who "knows, but tries to ignore the nonmarital family," plus some teen-age children who "sense something amiss." The husband is struggling—manfully, one might say—to deny...

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