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by Abigail Van Buren

Hosts Are in the Doghouse for Providing an Outhouse

DEAR ABBY: A couple we know threw a birthday party this past weekend. A large number of guests were invited. When we arrived, everyone was directed to the back yard. I was appalled to see a portable toilet, the kind typically used at construction sites.

This couple has a beautiful home with at least three bathrooms. What a slap in the face to be invited to someone's home, only to find that we had actually been invited to their back yard and were expected to use an "outhouse"!

My husband and I disagree on whether or not this was an insult. Your opinion, please. -- APPALLED IN POMONA, CALIF.

DEAR APPALLED: Before you conclude that this was an insult, ask your hosts why they did it. Perhaps they were having plumbing problems. Or, the party was so large the hostess didn't know all of the guests well, and preferred they didn't tromp through her house. She might have been afraid her carpets would be damaged by dirty shoes, or had experienced some petty thefts during prior large parties.

Whatever the reason the house was off-limits and the portable toilet was provided, you owe it to your hosts to hear them out before you judge them.