DEAR ABBY: When a friend of mine “makes dinner” for invited guests, it’s either takeout Chinese food or delivered pizza. Frankly, I am sick of it. Last Thanksgiving, they invited me and several others over for dinner. You guessed it! Chinese food. I told my friend I was surprised and not in the mood for Chinese food, offered my apologies and left. We didn’t talk for four months.

This past year I was again invited to Thanksgiving dinner. I declined and, when asked why, said, “I’m sick and tired of what is being offered.” The response was, “Then I guess I’ll stop inviting you. And I don’t need your friendship.” I replied, “Glad we are on the same page!”

Abby, this “friend” knows how to cook and could certainly order something different. Was I out of line? I have no regrets the friendship has ended. — FED UP IN THE WEST

DEAR FED UP: When someone accepts an invitation to someone’s home, rather than criticize the menu, they should be grateful for the hospitality being extended. Were you out of line? The way you phrased your reason for declining was rude. You could have inquired about the menu and asked if you could bring something more “traditional.” It’s fortunate you have no regrets that your relationship with your former host has ended. I’m pretty sure the feelings are mutual.

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DEAR ABBY: On Sunday evening, a much older woman I’d never met came to my door saying she was a neighbor and was there to recruit me to participate in a political lobbying event her church was sponsoring. This is not something I wish to do.

I tried to refuse nicely. But then she said several times she required my name, email address and phone number so she could send me more information as well as opportunities to pass the information to other people. I asked for her information instead, but saying “no, thank you” and trying to excuse myself to get back to my children didn’t lessen her persistence. Eventually, I apologized and closed the door on her.

People should not be harassed in their home, even though she may very well be a neighbor in this small neighborhood. How could I have handled this better? — NO SOLICITING

DEAR NO SOLICITING: The person who came to your door had an agenda; it wasn’t a social call. In a situation like the one that was thrust upon you, good manners did not require you to offer an apology. Frankly, you should have closed your front door SOONER.



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