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by Abigail Van Buren

Home-Cooked Meal Is Perfect Payback for a Dinner Out

DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine and his wife invited me out to dinner and I graciously thanked them. They are both employed. I live strictly on Social Security and pay 30 percent of my income for rent, barely making ends meet.

I wanted to reciprocate, so I invited them over for a home-cooked meal. My friend came, but his wife is shy and didn't come. (I had a couple of other friends over.)

If someone wants to reciprocate being taken out for dinner, isn't it acceptable to invite them over for a home-cooked meal or must they be taken out? -- TENTATIVE HOST IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR TENTATIVE: No rule of etiquette dictates that you must take your guests out to dinner. Inviting them for a home-cooked meal was both gracious and appropriate.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Friends & Neighbors | Money