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Trying to talk through walls

Dear Abby: What do you think about people who attempt to converse with you from another room? My boyfriend does it fairly often. He may be on the computer while I'm reading or watching TV, and he'll yell out a question or tell me something. Most of the time I answer him, but then he'll continue the conversation -- all from the other room.

I find it rude, and to be quite honest, disrespectful. My former roommate used to do the same thing. Do you think this is a "guy thing"?

-- Can't Hear in New York

Dear Can't Hear: Nope. It's just lazy. And it continues because you allow it. Tell your boyfriend if he has something he wants to say to you, he should come and say it. Point out that you give him that respect. And if he "forgets," stay put and don't answer from the other room.

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Gift exchange might work

Dear Abby: I have a friend with whom I exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. I make a great deal of effort to find things I know she would like, and I have been quite successful. My friend, however, buys me things I suspect she would like for herself.

Example: I'm always hot while she's always chilly. She bought me heavy pajamas and a warm robe for Christmas. I love to read fiction while she prefers nonfiction. For my birthday I received a book about history.

This kind of exchange has been going on for years, and I don't remember receiving one gift I could really use. What can I say to her?

-- Peeved in Pittsburgh

Dear Peeved: To say something would be rude. I do have a suggestion, however. On the next gift-giving occasion, give your friend some things YOU would like. Example: A pretty fan to accessorize a summer dress, a jar of your favorite jam, a novel or two you would enjoy reading -- and then you can agree on a gift exchange. Problem solved.