DEAR ABBY: A male family friend who is gay works at a local business my wife and I patronize regularly. We always stop and chat when he's there, but he does something that irritates me. He addresses my wife as "Sweetie." My wife thinks I'm being silly because he's gay; I say one's sexual orientation doesn't negate manners and how one man should address another man's wife. I'm not annoyed to the point that I'd confront the guy, but I promised my wife I'd ask you your opinion. -- BOTHERED IN NEW YORK
DEAR BOTHERED: There is nothing rude about a family friend -- gay or straight -- calling someone's wife "Sweetie." My opinion is you should lighten up.