DEAR ABBY: My husband and I invite our friends for dinner quite often, and invitations are always accepted. Recently, I began to notice that we are never invited to some of their homes for dinner.
I know entertaining isn't for everyone, but they do entertain other people -- just not us. I'm not sure why this is. We would never go empty-handed. If we weren't asked to bring a dessert or an appetizer, we would at least bring a bottle of wine to thank our hosts, and I'd help to clear the dishes and straighten the kitchen when the meal is over.
Have you any thoughts as to why an invitation is never extended to us? -- NOT ON THE "A" LIST
DEAR NOT: The problem may be that the couple is embarrassed that they can't entertain you as lavishly as you have entertained them. Or, they may have never been taught that it is rude to accept people's hospitality and not reciprocate in some way. Because they are friends, you should pose this question to them and ask for an honest answer.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 19 years and this is the third time I have caught my wife cheating. I didn't catch her "in the act" because she disguised it behind "vacations with her girlfriends." What happened was I caught her sending some guy nude pictures of herself and lying about having stayed at a friend's house. (She had spent the night with a guy.)
I have remained in this marriage because I wanted to raise all my kids before separating or divorcing. I am leaving eventually, but want to stay four more years to raise my last son.
Is it immoral to lie and pretend like I want to work it out? I feel this is the best way not to damage my children. -- RESPONSIBLE DAD IN GEORGIA
DEAR DAD: I don't think you should lie. Instead, talk calmly with your wife and tell her that it's clear to you that she isn't satisfied in the marriage or she wouldn't be doing what she has been doing. You might be able to accomplish what you want with your son through a joint custody arrangement -- or full custody, if your wife wishes. That way, she could live her life as she apparently wants to, and so can you.
DEAR ABBY: My next-door neighbor lets her two children, a 6-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl, run around naked all the time. This includes playing in her front yard and in the street.
I don't want to seem like a prude or cause problems in the neighborhood, but let's face it -- there are perverts everywhere. At what age is it no longer acceptable for children to be nude in public? -- TAKEN ABACK IN MONTANA
DEAR TAKEN ABACK: Children over the age of 3 should not be out in public with no clothes -- and no child should be playing outside that way without supervision. For that matter, clothed or not, for their own safety children should not play in the street.
Your neighbor's lack of attention is irresponsible and inappropriate. If you can't make her see the light, then child protective services should be consulted.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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