DEAR ABBY: My husband and I live in a very nice house with a dream back yard for entertaining. Over the years, some longtime friends have attended our pool party get-togethers, as well as holiday cocktail parties. They all have nice entertainment features in their homes, minus the pool.
It seems that during the last year or two, every single get-together has been at our house. We never get invited to attend any functions at any of their houses. In fact, some of our "best friends" have been no-shows at our latest dinner parties or canceled at the last minute. Any advice on trying to "get invited" to someone else's house for a change? -- TIRED OF PARTYING AT MY HOUSE
DEAR TIRED: Not everyone enjoys entertaining, and for some it can be a nerve-wracking experience, so they avoid it. But people who accept invitations are socially obligated to reciprocate in some way –- even if it's not entertaining in their homes. I don't know the "best friends" you are referring to, but it occurs to me that perhaps their financial situation may have changed in the last few years, and that may have curtailed their entertaining.
However, not showing up after accepting an invitation is very rude, and canceling at the last minute for any reason other than illness is sending you a message. It's time for a frank talk with these "friends" to see why things may have changed.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a wonderful woman, "Nicole," for the last three months. There's only one problem. When we spend time "in" as opposed to out and about, we spend the majority of it at her place –- which is usually messy.
Nicole says she goes through extra sheets when I'm there, and she feels it is my responsibility to help her clean her house and do her laundry.
I would never consider asking her to help clean my place. Is this just a matter of different perspectives, or am I being taken advantage of? -- DETERGENT DAN IN DESPAIR
DEAR DETERGENT DAN: Because you are the reason Nicole has extra loads of laundry, be "gallant" and toss the sheets in the washing machine or transfer them to the dryer if she asks you to. But after only three months, I think it's a bit presumptuous for her to expect you to be her houseman. If you were living together, it would be different. But you're not.
DEAR ABBY: I am being married in four months. It's the moment I have dreamed of for the last three years. However, the priest who is supposed to conduct our service has made rude remarks -- such as our marriage "won't last."
Abby, I am very uncomfortable about being married by a person who doesn't believe in our marriage. But if we are married by another officiate, then it won't be accepted by his family. What should I do? -- IN LOVE IN KANSAS
DEAR IN LOVE: A priest is supposed to counsel, not judge. Talk this over with your fiance, and then be married by whomever you wish. It shouldn't matter much because if this is what his family priest is saying, then I'd guess his parents already don't accept your union. And be prepared for some rough rowing on the sea of matrimony, because something tells me you two may have to fight for your happiness. I wish it were otherwise.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)