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Annie’s Mailbox: Good manners to treat hosts to meal

Dear Annie: When my husband and I travel, we often spend a couple of days with friends or family. One night during our stay, we usually go out to dinner. There always seems to be a small verbal battle over who is going to pay the bill.

My husband always insists on paying. He says we want to thank them for their hospitality. On the other hand, when friends or family come to our house and we go out to dinner, my husband still insists on paying, saying they are our guests.

When I was growing up, my father was the same way. Is there a rule about who should pick up the tab: the host or the guest? – Tired of Always Footing the Bill

Dear Tired: When staying at someone’s home for a weekend or longer, it is good manners to treat your hosts to a meal to thank them for their hospitality. Your husband should allow your guests to do the same for him. However, if your guests are with you only for a night, it is equally proper for your husband to treat them. But really, since he’s so stubborn about it, we suggest you let him do what he wants.

Dear Annie: You were wrong to tell “N.Y., N.Y.” to visit her ailing grandmothers because it is “the right thing to do.” Having been through it with a grandmother and my own mother, I would have preferred to remember them as the loving people they once were instead of the nasty, angry human wreckage they became. When my grandchildren were younger, I spent lots of time making beautiful memories, and that’s what I want them to remember. I’ve already given written instructions that should I follow the same course, none of my family is to visit. Let me preserve some dignity by not having my loved ones witness my decline. – Realistic

Dear Realistic: We don’t believe unpleasant memories must crowd out the earlier loving ones. But if these are your wishes, they should be honored.