DEAR ABBY: We need some advice. Recently we hosted our annual holiday party and invited all of our neighbors and friends. Our invitation stated that the party would run between 5 and 11:30 so our guests could also attend other parties that might be going on at the same time.
As our party was winding down, it was noticed that one of our guests -- who had been at a previous party -- had wet themselves on our sofa and covered the spot up with throw pillows. We served wine, punch, etc. at our party, but this couple arrived pretty tipsy already. In the future, should we just not invite these neighbors? We are very distressed about this. What do you suggest? -- OOPS! IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR OOPS!: The guilty party should have owned up to what happened and offered to pay for having your couch professionally cleaned rather than try to cover it up. If you are 100 percent sure it was one particular couple, not inviting them to more gatherings would absolutely guarantee that it won't happen again.
P.S. Covering your furniture in waterproof slipcovers when you entertain a crowd may be something you might want to consider in the future.
DEAR ABBY: I am a boarding school student, and I absolutely hate it here! I worked hard to get in, and I realize how lucky I am to have been accepted, but I just want to go home and go to school at my public high school with all of my friends and my brother. My friends understand, but my parents think I'm over-exaggerating. I am sad all the time, and I cry at least once a day. How do I approach this to help my parents understand? -- AWAY FROM EVERYTHING
DEAR AWAY: You stated that you worked hard to get into this school, but you miss being with your friends back home. The quality of education you are now receiving will prove very important when you are getting ready for college. It's possible that with some help you can make new friends at this school. Stop crying alone and talk about your feelings with a trusted teacher or administrator. I'm sure it won't be the first time the person has heard something like this, and the input you receive could prove helpful.
DEAR ABBY: I work at a job that requires I call several businesspeople each day. Often I need to leave a voicemail message. It has become more and more common for voicemail greetings to say, "I will call you back at my earliest convenience." I find this very off-putting and rude, as if my call is an intrusion and they will call back "whenever." I think the word "convenience" is best used when offering it to someone else, as in, "Call me at your earliest convenience." I always try to return phone calls promptly, whether it's convenient or not. Am I just old-fashioned or what? -- NOT SO CONVENIENT IN SACRAMENTO
DEAR NOT SO: The individuals you are calling have the right to put any message they wish on their voicemail greeting. He or she may be on another business call or away from the office. The voicemail message is not being addressed to you personally.
You are old-fashioned. You also appear to be overly sensitive, and I think, for your own sake, you should get over it.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)