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by Abigail Van Buren

Invitations From Friend Are Declined for Safety Reasons

DEAR ABBY: We have a dear friend, a widower, whom we invite to dinner frequently because he is alone. Usually these invitations include other guests.

Our articulate friend has the most annoying habit of blowing his nose at the table into one of my cloth napkins. It is disgusting, not only to me, but to the other guests as well. What can I do to make him stop? I tried placing a small box of tissues next to his dinner plate, but he ignores them and uses his napkin anyway. I don't even like to re-use the napkin after it has been washed, particularly for guests. -- TURNED OFF AT THE TABLE

DEAR TURNED OFF: Because you tried the subtle approach and it didn't work, TELL this impolite widower that you placed the box of tissues near him so he would stop using your napkins as handkerchiefs. Frankly, it is considered rude to blow one's nose at the table at all because it tends to gross out the other diners.