DEAR ABBY: Last weekend, I called an old college friend and invited him and his wife -- I'll call them Carl and Sheila -- over for dinner. I was flabbergasted when he refused to accept my invitation before hearing what was on the menu and checking with Sheila!
To make matters worse, when he called back, he had "suggestions" on how to prepare each item I was planning to serve, as well as his wife's preferences for salad ingredients and dressing. I was floored! I told him I thought he and Sheila were extremely rude to dictate what I should serve in my own home.
My parents brought me up to believe that if you ask what's being served, it implies you're more interested in the food than the company. Carl says it would be more rude if they came to dinner and didn't eat what was served.
Abby, am I wrong, or do Carl and Sheila need a lesson in manners? -- STEAMED IN SALEM, MASS.
DEAR STEAMED: I can think of two reasons to justify asking you what you were planning to serve at your dinner party. The first would be if Carl or Sheila had food allergies; the second if they planned to bring the wine.
However, either one of those reasons should have been explained to you before Carl asked what you were planning to serve, and neither reason justifies telling you how they prefer their food prepared. Carl and Sheila were extremely rude, and if you wish to continue the friendship, in the future, meet them in restaurants.
DEAR ABBY: "Interested in Illinois" is unable to accept a man's reason, that she is "too young," for not wanting to see her again. She's only one of millions who fail to realize that a member of the opposite sex who gives a weak reason for not continuing a relationship is often being kind -- sparing the feelings with a white lie instead of the brutal truth. The rejected party should move on. -- ROBERT H. BICKMEYER, TROY, MICH.
DEAR ROBERT: I'm printing your letter because that's a good rule of thumb to follow in the dating world. You aren't the only reader who responded to "Interested's" letter. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I am a first-time writer, but a longtime reader. "Interested in Illinois" got my pen hand shaking and my 52-year-old wheels turning.
She said "Jim" was in the process of getting a divorce, and he told her she was "too young." That young lady should butt out! Jim has enough problems without her adding her pheromones.
Abby, please give her my address and phone number. I've been looking for "Miss Right" since my third divorce, in 1986. -- FREEZING IN BEMIDJI, MINN.
DEAR FREEZING: You're right and you're wrong. I agree that Jim has enough problems without the young woman's pheromones addling his thinking. However, you're wrong about the purpose of my column. I make it a practice never to makes matches unless I know both parties very well and can vouch for the fact that they are what they're representing themselves to be. Sorry.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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