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Should I have drawn attention to thin walls?

DEAR ABBY: I recently stayed in a historical inn, which had very thin walls. An occupant in the adjoining room sneezed. I heard it and wondered: "Should I say 'bless you'?" The sneeze came in the midst of conversation I had respectfully tried to avoid overhearing, but which was clearly audible. My thought was to ignore the sneeze so as not to intrude on their privacy. An office mate believes I should have responded to the sneeze. Your thoughts would be appreciated.


DEAR BEING POLITE: I agree with your office mate. If you had responded to the sneeze, it would have alerted your neighbors that their conversation wasn't necessarily private, which would have done them a favor.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

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