DEAR ABBY: We have recently built and moved into a new home, and are being approached by people expressing a desire to "tour" our home. They are not personal friends - in fact, most of them are practically strangers. The same thing happened to us 30 years ago. Both times we located in new cities where we had no friends - only acquaintances.

Our home overlooks a lovely private golf course, so many people have watched it being built. We are not overly eager to welcome these people into our home just to look around. On the other hand, we don't want to be classified as unfriendly or snobbish.Thirty years ago, under similar circumstances, we allowed curious people to invite themselves over, hoping to acquire new friends in a new city, but none of them returned the invitation. Some even came unannounced, knocking on our door. The minister, for one, walked through our home inspecting it, making comments and criticisms.

I dread this happening again. Your suggestions on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated. - PRIVATE PEOPLE

DEAR PRIVATE PEOPLE: You have no obligation to open your home to curious strangers - or casual friends. If someone expresses a desire to "see" your home, pleasantly say, "Perhaps one day," then go on to another subject. And should someone have the gall to ring your bell, simply say you're not prepared for visitors.

DEAR ABBY: I just returned from a bridal shower that was given by the mother of the bride. In the first place, it's common knowledge that it's against all rules of etiquette for the mother of the bride to give her own daughter a bridal shower.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, each guest found a blank envelope on her plate, then the bride's mother got up and announced that each guest should address the envelope to herself. And on the inside of the envelope was a blank piece of paper on which we were requested to identify our shower gift. "This way," the bride's mother said, "she won't have to remember who gave what."

Half the guests thought this was a neat idea. The other half thought it was tacky. What do you think? - 50/50 IN MACON, GA.

DEAR 50/50: I'm with the half who thought it was tacky.

DEAR ABBY: On returning home recently after being hospitalized, I received a gift of "love" from my friends and neighbors. Their gift did as much for me as my medication.

They gave me a check to pay for a cleaning lady to clean my house twice - and to help pay for the long-distance telephone calls to my children. (There were many.)

I am so grateful for such generous friends, I have resolved to "go and do likewise." - ROSEMARY SANDERS, NORTH FORT MYERS, FLA.

DEAR ROSEMARY: You must be a very special person to have earned such thoughtful and generous friends.

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