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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple on Party's 'B' List Have a First-Class Beef

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I were invited to a party at the home of some old friends. They are very social, always attending parties -- but we have never entertained them, so we were surprised to receive their invitation.

The invitation read "4 to 6 p.m." My wife and I arrived around 5 o'clock. We thought we'd see many of our old friends who are also friends of theirs. They have a huge home, and we were surprised to find only 10 other guests. They served hot cider and non-alcoholic punch -- that's all.

Well, the next day I ran into one of those old friends who told me that he had attended the party and wondered where we were. I told him that we were there and had been one of the last to leave around 6 p.m. My friend said, "We didn't get there until 7:30," and went on to describe the open bar, the fine wine, etc. -- none of which was offered when my wife and I were there.

Can you believe how tacky? There were two different party lists, and my wife and I were placed on the dull and, yes, "cheap" one.

I'd like to let the hosts know that we know about their slight and did not appreciate it, but we don't know how to do it without totally ruining the friendship. We'd appreciate your thoughts on this. -- TICKED OFF IN GEORGIA

DEAR TICKED OFF: There is nothing to be gained by confronting your hosts to complain about having been placed on their "B" list. Just make a mental note of where you stand with them and file it under "sadder but wiser."

DEAR ABBY: The "I remember your name but can't think of your face" solution to forgetting someone's name reminds me of an experience I had at my 50th class reunion at DePauw University in Indiana.

"Fred Anderson!" a fellow classmate greeted me after having obviously partied too long and too well. "You sure have changed. You used to be kind of fat and not as tall."

"I am not Fred Anderson," I replied. "I'm Jack Runninger."

"Oh, you changed your name, too, eh?"

I remember a true story from many years ago about the danger of pretending to know who someone is.

A lady couldn't remember the name of someone she ran into on the street one day. As she racked her brain, the other lady finally mentioned something about her brother.

"Oh, yes ... your dear brother ... what is he doing these days?" she asked, figuring this might give her a clue to the lady's identity.

"Oh, he's still the president of the United States," she replied. (She was Calvin Coolidge's sister.) -- JACK RUNNINGER, ROME, GA.

DEAR JACK: Speaking of Coolidge, he was a man of few words and was nicknamed "Silent Cal."

It was reported that Coolidge was seated next to a lively woman at a dinner party. She turned to Coolidge and said with a smile, "Someone bet me $10 that you wouldn't say three words to me all evening," to which Coolidge replied (with a straight face), "You lose."

DEAR ABBY: Regarding "Devastated in Long Island," I thought you would get a kick out of this:

Some years ago in a New England city, many members of a certain Jewish temple were becoming active with the Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers.

When asked if he was aware of the situation, the rabbi came back with this classic: "Oh, yes. Why, some of my best Jews are Friends!" -- CHUCK EVANS, ERIE, PA.

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