DEAR ABBY: Over the years, you have recommended to readers that they clip one of your columns and show it to a particular person who may need to be made aware of some character flaw.
May I ask that you recommend to your readers that they not send these columns anonymously?
A dear friend of mine received a column of yours by mail with no return address or postmark. My friend was very hurt because she didn't feel the column applied to her -- and after having read it, I agree with her.
After receiving that column, she has missed at least one social event because she was afraid of offending someone. It is very sad.
I understand that in some circumstances, someone might think an anonymous note is in order, but I urge your readers to stop and think before sending one. The recipient is placed in the awkward position of knowing that someone she knows is annoyed with her, but doesn't know who. -- SCARLETT IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR SCARLETT: When I tell people to "clip this column and share it" with someone, what I have in mind is a face-to-face conversation -- using the column as a tactful way of showing that the breach of etiquette is common. For someone to send it anonymously is cowardly, unkind and cruel. For shame.