DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have a dear friend who loves to host dinner parties. She has invited me and my husband many times, and we greatly appreciate her hospitality.
I feel terrible that we have never reciprocated by inviting her and her husband to come to our home for dinner.
The truth is that I’m embarrassed by my house. My husband and I make decent money, but we both work in government, so we aren’t rich. Our house is old and tiny, and not in the greatest neighborhood.
By contrast, my friend and her husband live in one of the nicest and most desirable neighborhoods in this area and they have a beautiful home with hardwood floors, a dining room, remodeled bathrooms, etc.
Our house is, frankly, a dump. We have mismatched furniture, no dining room (we would have to serve dinner at the kitchen table), old carpets and a teeny bathroom.
To be clear, I’m grateful to have a house at all, which is out of reach for so many people in this area.
Nevertheless, I am too embarrassed to invite anyone over for dinner. We have occasionally invited these friends to meet us for dinner at restaurants, but it’s not really the same.
The thought of these friends having dinner at my kitchen table makes me cringe with shame. I feel that it would be rude not to offer the same type of elegant dinner party experience that they provide us in their home. As that’s impossible, I am stuck.
My husband thinks that I am being ridiculous, and even more rude by not inviting them to dinner. Who is right, me or my husband?