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DEAR ABBY: When a couple asks another couple to ride along with them, what is the proper seating? Should the wife automatically sit in front with her husband, or should she sit in the back with the other lady? Or should the couple whose car it is ask the other couple how they prefer to ride? -- EDNA C. IN CARMAN, ILL.

DEAR EDNA: It depends on the circumstances -- how well the couples know each other, the distance to be traveled and whether either of the couples are newlyweds. (Newlyweds usually prefer to sit together.)

The important factor in the seating arrangement is that everybody be pleased and comfortable. Couples who have a long friendship might prefer "one-on-one" conversation with the spouse of the same sex. My personal rule of thumb: When in doubt, sit with your own mate.

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