DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently hosted a dinner party for six close friends. I spent the day cleaning, cooking and setting the table beautifully with flowers. Our guests were supposed to arrive at 5 p.m., but didn’t show up until 6 p.m. A couple brought their dog and started giving him a bone on our freshly cleaned couch.
The guests only spoke to each other, and every time my husband and I tried to speak, we were interrupted and the subject returned to their personal discussions, which included planning the next evening, ringing cell phones, and taking pictures. calls, etc.
One of the men was extremely rude. He complained about the ingredients of the food, demanded to move to the head of the table and made negative remarks throughout the meal, after which he abruptly announced that he was tired and wanted to go home immediately .
My husband and I were very upset after they left and my husband said he never wanted to have dinner with them again. I need your advice as I am a close friend of women and would like to clear things up. Meanwhile, I received two text messages the next day thanking me for the “good dinner” and the “good time”. — HOSTESS WITH THE MOST
DEAR HOSTESS: The man who criticized your cooking and asked to be placed at the head of the table should be removed from your guest list. The couple who gave their dog a bone on your freshly cleaned sofa should have the option of paying to have it cleaned again if there are stains on it.
Going forward, when you issue an invitation, it looks like you’ll need to specify that you expect your guests to show up on time and leave their pets at home. If someone is offended by this, maybe they’re not so “close friends” after all.
DEAR ABBY: My first wife and I got married in 1989, divorced in 1994 and eventually married other people. My second marriage also ended in divorce; hers ended with the death of her husband. A year and a half after her death, she invited me to dinner. We talked for hours and we both admitted that there was still love between us.
We decided to start seeing each other, but she told me she had to take it easy, which I understand. We’ve been seeing each other for seven months now, but she’s hot and cold. She approaches, then backs away. I didn’t say anything about it because I’m trying to be understanding.
Last month she REALLY pulled out and we haven’t seen each other since. We text, but that’s it. Now I don’t know what to think. I’m sure the last month has been difficult for her because it marked the anniversary of her husband’s death. It’s also hard for me. I do not know what to do. I would greatly appreciate any advice you may have. — HOPE FOR THE BEST
DEAR HOPE: Your ex-wife may still be grieving the loss of her husband, and while she has feelings for you, she may not be ready to make the kind of commitment you search. You’re late for a face-to-face conversation with her about how when you feel you’re getting closer, she backs off.
A lot has happened between you since your divorce a long time ago. There could be any number of reasons for her behavior, and you deserve honest answers before deciding whether or not to continue pursuing her. If she is honorable, she will give them to you.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.