DEAR ABBY: I am planning an elegant celebration for my husband's 50th birthday. We'll be having a black-tie sit-down dinner, a live band and dancing, a magician and a fortune-teller.
One of the invitees shocked me yesterday by announcing that she was bringing a guest. If she had a special man in her life, I would have included "and guest" on her invitation. Quite a few people she knows will be there -- and at least half a dozen other singles.
I feel very uncomfortable that someone would consider bringing an uninvited guest to this party, and I resent the way she announced it -- without asking and giving me the option of refusing.
After spending a sleepless night stewing over it, I realized I should have told her this was an imposition. However, I was too stunned when she mentioned it and didn't acknowledge the comment.
Would I be rude to tell her she can't bring a guest to our party? -- NEEDS ADVICE FAST IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR NEEDS: No. You would not be rude to tell this woman that you and your husband have discussed her bringing a guest to his party, and you cannot accommodate her request. Explain that your guest list is limited to close friends and family only, and she will not be the only single in attendance.
It is never proper for a guest to tell a hostess that he or she is bringing another person. The proper procedure is to ask if it would be all right to bring a date -- and since that person is technically the guest of the guest, to graciously offer to pay for him or her.