DEAR ABBY: I have an acquaintance who calls me by the wrong first name, and I don't know how to correct him without embarrassing both of us. We both grew up in the same town, although we didn't know each other back then. He became a doctor and moved to northern California. Our mothers know each other, but his mother is now in a nursing home and can't communicate.
When I first looked him up, I introduced myself. Since then, he has been calling me George. (My name is Jim.) Most of the time I see him at the weight room at the health club, and he greets me with a big, "Hello, George!" I thought about correcting him, but he can't hear me because he has earphones on.
Sometimes we'll cross paths in the locker room and he'll say, "How's it going, George?" and keeps on walking. I don't think it would be cool to open his shower door and correct him. How can I solve this embarrassing problem? -- JIM AT THE GYM
DEAR JIM: Your mistake was in not correcting him immediately. Unless being called by the wrong name is "george" with you, open the shower door and correct the man. I guarantee that if you do it once, he won't get your name wrong again.
DEAR ABBY: A guy in our office forwards corny e-mails to me and others. But as soon as he sends them, he enters our offices and asks if we read the e-mail he just forwarded. If we say no, he says, "Well, go ahead and open it." Then he hovers over our shoulders until it's opened and read. If we are in the hallway or a conference room after he e-mails it, he comes to find us. Then he follows us back into our offices and watches while we read it. Sometimes he will even read it aloud, as if we can't read.
In the rare cases that the e-mail might actually be funny, his interruption and hovering ruins any enjoyment the e-mail might otherwise provide. All I can do is offer an insincere snicker, while I feel uncomfortable about the content and his hovering.
How can we get him to cut it out? -- TRAPPED IN MARYVILLE, TENN.
DEAR TRAPPED: You have described someone who is socially inept and hungry for company. It's sad, really. But the most logical way to deal with it is to be "too busy" to be interrupted. Be pleasant, but firm, and tell him that you'll look at what he sent "when time permits." And don't take no for an answer.
DEAR ABBY: I was engaged three years ago, and shortly before the wedding my fiance called it off. My bridesmaids had all purchased their dresses.
I plan to be married this year and will use the same bridesmaid dresses. However, I am no longer as close to a couple of the bridesmaids as I was then. Since they have already purchased the dresses, am I obligated to ask them to be in this wedding? What would be proper? -- MAKING MY PLANS IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR MAKING PLANS: The proper thing to do would be to ask the women who bought the dresses to be in the wedding, or offer to buy the dresses from them, and select bridesmaids who wear their size. (Hint: You'll make fewer enemies if you use the original cast.)
DEAR ABBY: My family lives in a three-bedroom house, and my parents share the largest bedroom. I am 15, my sister is 11 and my brother is 7. The two other bedrooms are the same size. Should I share a bedroom with my brother, or should my sister share one with him? -- STEVEN IN OHIO
DEAR STEVEN: Because two of you must "double up," you should share a bedroom with your brother.
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