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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother Afraid to Leave Home Wants Better Options for Kids

DEAR ABBY: I have been keeping company with a man for the past 10 years. Our spouses are deceased. He sometimes receives invitations to weddings, parties, etc. addressed only to him. Without consulting me, he will call and tell these people that if I am not invited, then he will not attend -- so they are forced to tell him it's OK if I come, too. I am very uncomfortable about these situations.

I feel that after 10 years my name, or at least "and guest," should appear on the invitation or I should not go. Because I don't want him to stay home, I usually end up going. What do you think about this? -- UNCOMFORTABLE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Your gentleman friend's behavior is rude. Guest lists are usually limited for economic reasons. He should not be attempting to "blackmail" his prospective hosts. Many hosts handle situations like this by cheerfully telling the boor who tries it, "Sorry you won't attend. We'll miss you!"

I don't blame you for feeling awkward. My advice is not to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.