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by Abigail Van Buren

Bathroom Door Etiquette Has An Open-And-Shut Solution

DEAR ABBY: When I was a child, my mother always told me to close the bathroom door after using the toilet so as not to allow any offensive odors to escape.

I'm an adult now, have a nice home and entertain often. I am dismayed that most of my guests leave the bathroom door wide open after each use. It is particularly offensive because of the close proximity of the powder room to the dining room. Like the habit of men forgetting to put the toilet seat down, I find this "open door" policy both disgusting and inexcusable.

Would you kindly advise whether my mother was correct, or am I being too sensitive? I'll post your answer on the door of my guest bathroom for my guests to see. -- GROSSED OUT, CARMEL VALLEY, CALIF.

DEAR GROSSED OUT: While it would be hard to argue in favor of offensive fumes wafting into a hallway, not everyone feels as strongly as you and your mother do on this subject. Your guests may be leaving the door open so other guests will know the bathroom is unoccupied.

Because you prefer for it to be shut at all times, rather than post a letter from me on the door, consider installing an automatic spring closer on it, or post a small sign that reads, "Please Shut Door When Leaving."

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics