DEAR ABBY: I have a problem with people in our church congregation who want to greet me with a kiss. Please advise me on how to handle this delicate situation.
I don't want to hurt any feelings; these are nice people. However, lips carry germs, and I have a weak immune system. I have tried extending my hand in greeting, but one man smooched me anyway, saying, "I don't shake hands with girls!" Abby, I'm 70 and hardly a "girl," and I didn't appreciate his rejection of my handshake.
Do you think it will work if I tell him and others that I have a contagious disease that causes men's lips to dry up and fall off? -- DEANNA IN FLORIDA
DEAR DEANNA: No. It would be more to the point to tell your fellow church members that you have a fragile immune system and are susceptible to viruses -- which is why you prefer to shake hands. It's the truth. And if the man who smooched you continues to be a problem, talk to your clergyperson about it.