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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were recently invited to a wedding, and we promptly returned our RSVP indicating we would be attending the wedding and dinner.

At the last minute, my husband found out he would not be able to make it to the dinner. Since I did not feel comfortable going alone, and knowing that two meals had been paid for, I brought my 24-year-old daughter in his place. Our friends who were hosting the reception were most gracious about it. My daughter left shortly after the meal when my husband arrived.

Was this proper etiquette? I'm sure other families have found themselves in similar situations. -- C.L., MINNEAPOLIS

DEAR C.L.: Your question was not addressed in any of the etiquette books I consulted; however, I do not think you committed a breach of etiquette. Because your RSVP indicated that two individuals would attend the dinner and your daughter is an adult, your hosts did not have to make any adjustments in order to accommodate her. A further courtesy would have been to telephone the hosts (if they were reachable) and let them know your change in plans.

DEAR ABBY: Several weeks ago at work, while on our coffee break, "Sarah" mentioned to me and three other women that her nephew had published a book of poems in some kind of fancy script writing. The nephew was asking $15 for the book. Sarah said she knew we could all afford it. I told her I just wasn't interested in poetry and knew it would end up cluttering my home.

Later, Sarah came by my desk and loudly informed me that when I didn't purchase the book, the other three women also turned it down. She said that because we were such good friends, I should have purchased it "just to be nice," and she would have done as much for me. Now she's no longer speaking to me.

Was I obligated to buy the book, even though I didn't want it? What are your thoughts on this, Abby? -- POETIC JUSTICE, PLEASE

DEAR POETIC JUSTICE: Sarah was taking advantage of all of you. You were under no obligation to purchase the book, and neither were your co-workers. Many employers have policies against interoffice soliciting to protect employees from such awkward situations.

DEAR ABBY: I can't think of a better way to get the word out to the various radio stations across America than to write a letter to you and have you publish it.

I would be most grateful if you would alert them to the fact that their call letters mean absolutely nothing to travelers on their way through their listening area. My husband and I travel a lot, and while crossing the United States, we often turn on the radio to get weather forecasts. When the radio stations don't identify which city they are broadcasting from, we have no idea whether they are in the vicinity or in another state.

I suggest that all radio personnel, when giving out their call letters, also indicate the city from which they are broadcasting. Thank you, Abby. -- JEANETTE WATSON, AUBURN, N.H.

DEAR JEANETTE WATSON: Thanks for an excellent suggestion. Vacationers traveling by automobile will bless you.

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