A couple from our children’s school had our family to their house for dinner. It was very nice of them and we had an ok time but I don’t foresee us becoming friends with these people. Does etiquette require that we reciprocate dinner?

Wow a real ‘etiquette’ question. First, pat yourself on the back for even caring about doing the right thing – I feel a renewed belief in humankind already.

But all this ‘caring’ aside, the answer is no.  Seriously darling,  you seem to be quite sure that your relationship with these folks is not going anywhere. Reciprocating would be a bit of a tease don’t you think? If you wanted to be friends – if you went to a concert and or had a family outing to the movies and your relationship grew and you still didn’t reciprocate, I’d take you to task. But if the ‘first date’ didn’t leave you wanting more, what’s the point in stringing them along? Reciprocating merely out of obligation  – not out of friendship or desire to see the other people – can only lead to misunderstanding and possibly even hurt feelings. You’re postponing the awkwardness and therefore probably inflating it. There is no need to continue the charade (pronounced sha-rod cause AKA likes talking fancy), just like with dating, when it’s not a fit, ya’ gotta’ quit. I commend you on your effort and willingness to make new friends but life’s short.  Spend it with those you love. Everyone needs friends and it’s great to make new ones but it can’t work every time.  You know how you and your hubby have been talking about getting together with that nice family you met at the dog park? Do it! What are you waiting for?  You’re gonna’ die you know.