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.

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.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 65-year-old woman who has never enjoyed sex. I’ve had lovers, and I’m a very affectionate person, but the act itself has never been comfortable for me. Now that I’m post-menopausal, it’s practically impossible.

I have never been married, but I want to find someone. In fact, I yearn for a life partner. I’m on dating sites, and my question is: How should I describe myself? It seems most men want sex. Should I include my lack of interest in sex in my profile so they know what they’re getting? I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, especially not my own. But this feels so weird and awkward to address. — EVERYTHING BUT THAT IN NEW YORK

DEAR EVERYTHING BUT: It would benefit you to go online and search for dating sites for people who want romance only, without sex. These sites do exist, and it may comfort you to know that you are definitely not alone. If you do try one, I hope you find the man you are looking for.

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 P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)


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Jeanne Phillips