DEAR ABBY: Last weekend, I called an old college friend and invited him and his wife -- I'll call them Carl and Sheila -- over for dinner. I was flabbergasted when he refused to accept my invitation before hearing what was on the menu and checking with Sheila!
To make matters worse, when he called back, he had "suggestions" on how to prepare each item I was planning to serve, as well as his wife's preferences for salad ingredients and dressing. I was floored! I told him I thought he and Sheila were extremely rude to dictate what I should serve in my own home.
My parents brought me up to believe that if you ask what's being served, it implies you're more interested in the food than the company. Carl says it would be more rude if they came to dinner and didn't eat what was served.
Abby, am I wrong, or do Carl and Sheila need a lesson in manners? -- STEAMED IN SALEM, MASS.
DEAR STEAMED: I can think of two reasons to justify asking you what you were planning to serve at your dinner party. The first would be if Carl or Sheila had food allergies; the second if they planned to bring the wine.
However, either one of those reasons should have been explained to you before Carl asked what you were planning to serve, and neither reason justifies telling you how they prefer their food prepared. Carl and Sheila were extremely rude, and if you wish to continue the friendship, in the future, meet them in restaurants.