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by Abigail Van Buren

Old Friend Needs New Lesson in Acceptable Party Behavior

DEAR ABBY: I am 25 and moved back to my hometown six months ago. Since my return, I have been socializing with a high school friend I'll call Josh. We go out fairly often and have become good friends again. Neither of us has any particular romantic interest in the other.

I invited Josh to escort me to the wedding of an old friend and he accepted.

After the reception, a group of us went to a mutual friend's for a hot-tub party. We were all having a great time, behaving like mature adults, until Josh went into the woods to make out with "Mandy," the 19-year-old cousin of one of the guests he met in the hot tub.

While Josh and I are just friends, I expected him to treat me with respect when he escorted me to the wedding and its attendant social functions. I felt hurt and humiliated by his actions, and I ended up leaving the party.

Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but am I wrong to think Josh behaved badly? I would never have done that to him. I want Josh to realize how much he hurt me, but I also never want to speak to him again. What should I do? -- GOLDILOCKS IN FLORIDA

DEAR GOLDILOCKS: What Josh did was rude, immature and boorish -- but speak to him again. It seems he never learned that a gentleman doesn't leave the lady he's escorting for a "quickie." If he wanted to make time with Mandy, he should have taken her number and called her another time -- after you were escorted safely home.

To give him the silent treatment would be letting him off easy. It's better for both of you to tell him exactly what's on your mind. If he doesn't know better, he needs to hear it. Besides, he owes you an apology.