DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a woman who is friends with a lovely couple. This husband and wife never say a negative word about anyone. They are kind and considerate.
The problem is that both husband and wife have the odd habit of smacking the arm of whomever is sitting next to them when they are making a point. The wife actually smacks fairly hard at times, but the husband does it, too.
I have avoided sitting next to each of them at dinner parties and neighborhood get-togethers, but it can happen if you are standing next to one of them. And often, as I am unprepared, the smack, gentle or not, comes as a bit of a shock.
I realize this is a habit that both of these fine people have acquired, but it's extremely annoying, not to mention it sometimes hurts. What is the proper response that might get it to stop?
GENTLE READER: "Owwwwww-ah!"