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by Abigail Van Buren

Tagalong Lunch Guests Leave Bad Taste in Friend's Mouth

DEAR ABBY: Sometimes I'll call a close friend or business associate for lunch with the goal of having a quality one-on-one conversation on a wide range of topics. After the lunch is set, more than one of them has then invited other people I know, but with whom I do not have the same quality relationship. It is not a pleasant surprise.

I find it irritating, because it invariably changes the dynamic of the conversation. I never say anything about it, but it bothers me. Is my reaction reasonable, or should I just roll with this? -- THWARTED IN DALLAS

DEAR THWARTED: Your reaction is perfectly reasonable. The first time it happened, you should have shared your feelings with the person who did it. It has happened again because you didn't speak up. Now you will have to warn the person you're inviting in advance.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Friends & Neighbors