DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been taking ballroom dance lessons for several years, and we have become fairly good social dancers. (We don't do gymnastics -- we just dance!)
Our question concerns wedding etiquette. When it's obvious that we "out-dance" the members of the wedding party and the other guests, should we limit our dancing to a slow dance or two? We don't want to draw attention away from the bride and groom, but we do want to celebrate with them.
We have heard a lot of positive comments from brides and grooms and guests who enjoy watching us dance, and only a couple of negative comments from other guests. We don't drink; our dancing is good, clean fun. Is there a rule of etiquette regarding dancing at wedding receptions? -- FRED AND GINGER IN COLUMBUS, GA.
DEAR FRED AND GINGER: The rule of etiquette states that it's rude to draw attention away from the bride and groom -- and that would include both a guest's attire and "show-boating" by performing the equivalent of a Las Vegas lounge act during the reception. No one will be offended if you keep it low-key, and that's what I advise.
DEAR ABBY: My sister sleeps in the nude. She feels she should be able to sleep that way when she travels and visits others in their homes. We have just moved from a home large enough to have a guest bedroom to a small condo with no guestroom. I offered to let her sleep with me if she wore pajamas or a gown. She said she could not sleep in any clothing.
Was I wrong to set these terms? Or is she wrong to expect this in other people's homes? -- WORRIED SISTER IN ARIZONA
DEAR WORRIED SISTER: You'll be a better hostess, and she'll be a better guest, if both of you are fully rested. Because your sister is unable to sleep in any clothing, and you are uncomfortable sharing a bed with her unless she does, when your sister comes to visit she should either bring a sleeping bag or make reservations at a hotel or motel nearby.
DEAR ABBY: I am an exchange student in Germany, nearing the end of my stay and going home in a couple of weeks. To express their gratitude to my host family for taking me in, my parents sent them a large package of sweets and candies from America.
My host brother's 14th birthday is coming up. His sister suggested he take the candies my parents sent to school and share them with his class for his birthday. Abby, I was appalled at her suggestion of "regifting" my parents' gift to the family. And I was even more shocked that no one in the family seemed to understand how this could be interpreted as ungrateful and rude.
After she made the suggestion, I interjected, saying that it would be mean to take it to school. They all replied with a surprised "Why?" I later explained to my host sister that I didn't want her brother to take the candies to school. Again I was asked, "Why not?"
What do you think of this behavior? I'm very hurt. It's not the first time I've experienced such thoughtless behavior from them. Is this some strange German custom, or does my host family have a severe lack of etiquette? -- HURT IN HOLSTEIN, GERMANY
DEAR HURT: It is neither. Once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipients to do with as they wish -– and that includes "sharing the wealth" with others. The concept of sharing the candy was not thoughtless; the impulse was generous, and you overreacted.
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