DEAR ABBY: I was at a dinner party recently. One of the guests, who was totally deaf, was completely ignored. Not once did anyone attempt to include him in the conversation. I don't know how he stood it.
After dinner I talked to him. He told me he is used to being ignored by hearing people at parties and hated attending them. He was there to please his wife, who is not deaf.
He spoke well and was good at lip-reading. He was intelligent, knowledgeable, and has a good job. He told me he would bring a good book to these gatherings if his wife didn't think it'd be rude.
Abby, how would you have handled this? I'm going to send your answer to every person I know. -- SHOCKED BY THE RUDENESS
DEAR SHOCKED: A gracious hostess tries her best to assure that all of her guests will have a good time, and facilitates conversation. If I had been the hostess, I would have spoken with the couple in advance and elicited some interesting facts about the man. Then I would have shared them with the rest of my guests, as well as the fact that he could lip-read.
The alternative would be to "casually" mention that he is distantly related to Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, or that he's connected in the motion picture business. But then you'd probably have to hire police protection to keep the other guests from mobbing him. (Only joking!)