Dear Abby: OK to excuse yourself from prayer in restaurant

SHARE Dear Abby: OK to excuse yourself from prayer in restaurant

DEAR ABBY: I’m comfortable with my faith and pray before a meal at home and at friends’ houses. We have become friendly with individuals from our church, and on many occasions have gone out to eat together at restaurants.

When the meal is brought out, it has become a custom to pray. I feel uncomfortable praying aloud in public, and have seen others at our table already eating when someone says, “Let’s pray.”

My wife tells me to just go with it. But sometimes when the praying goes on for a lengthy time, I start to get sweaty and on the verge of a panic attack.

I wish they would take into consideration that others may feel praying is a private matter. I don’t believe that because one person doesn’t want to do something, others shouldn’t do it. So what say you? When food is brought to the table, should I dash to the restroom, or would that be rude? — PREFERS PRAYING PRIVATELY

DEAR P.P.P.: No rule of etiquette decrees that you must pray out loud if someone else chooses to. Obviously, others in the group feel as you do, or they wouldn’t start eating.

Because the situation makes you uncomfortable to the point of a panic attack, I think your solution to excuse yourself from the table for a few minutes is a good one — provided you say over your shoulder that you could be gone “awhile” and no one should wait for you.

DEAR ABBY: It will be three years since my mother passed. Her house was sold and the money split among me and my two sisters. I opened a separate bank account for my inheritance money.

My partner of 16 years thinks I was wrong to do that and still throws it in my face. I spent the money on my children, grandchildren, taxes, bills, big flat-screen and stuff for him. (I also bought myself a pair of jeans.)

I felt the money was my gift from my mom. I told my partner that when his parents pass, whatever they leave him will be his. It doesn’t matter how close I am to them. Your opinion, please, and no, he wasn’t close to my mom. — A GIFT FROM MY MOTHER

DEAR GIFT: In my opinion, your partner appears to be greedy and have an outsized sense of entitlement. If your mother had wanted your partner to get his hands on any of her estate, she would have put her wishes in writing.

DEAR ABBY: I recently attended the funeral of my ex-husband’s uncle. I wore a conservative suit in dark navy blue with a white blouse. Several family members criticized me for not wearing black.

I assumed that because I’m no longer a family member, that I wasn’t required to dress as one. Should I have worn black? — DIVORCEE IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR DIVORCEE: No. You showed respect for the deceased by attending. Sometimes funerals (and weddings) bring out the worst rather than the best in people.

I’m surprised your ex-husband’s family took time out from their grief to notice what you were wearing. It appears no good deed goes unpunished.

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

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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