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by Abigail Van Buren

Bar Hopping Fiance Leaves Engagement Behind at Home

DEAR ABBY: I would like to comment on the letter that appeared in your column from the woman who attended a housewarming and discovered camellias floating in the toilet of the master bathroom. It was a "subtle" way of discouraging guests from using that toilet. You said you thought the idea was "all wet."

Well, I think your answer was all wet! I saw nothing wrong with what the hostess did -- and you can quote me! -- GERM-PHOBIC IN GEORGIA

DEAR GERM-PHOBIC: You are not the only person who disagreed with my answer. And I apologize for attempting to be flip. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: You agreed with the letter writer that the hostess should open her entire home to guests. Well, I strongly disagree. Why tempt guests to look in your personal medicine cabinet, or check out (or remove) your jewelry? Some people will just make themselves at home. Don't you remember the letter about the hostess who put marbles in her medicine cabinet? If her powder room isn't sufficient to accommodate her guests, perhaps she invited too many guests! -- SUSAN SMITH, ELK GROVE, CALIF.

DEAR SUSAN: I remember, I remember! Read on:

DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I gave a party with about 18 people in attendance. I was gracious enough to allow my guests to use my master bath -- and was "rewarded" by having about $15,000 worth of jewelry stolen from me.

Now when I give parties, the master bathroom is off-limits, and I keep my bedroom door locked! -- BEEN THERE, DONE THAT IN DIAMONDHEAD, MISS.

DEAR BEEN THERE: How depressing! However, thank you for enlightening me to one of the realities of entertaining as the year 2000 rolls around. May I suggest you screen your guests more carefully next time?