Just as at Chritmastime all well-bred people think of those less fortunate than themselves, now is the time to think kindly about people who own swimming pools.

One has to spread one's compassion around the calender, anyway, and the muggy days ahead could be devoted to these particular friends.Who knows what might happen if you cast bread upon their shining blue waters?

It is important to know that people who have swimming pools cherish the hope that they may be loved for themslves alone. Therefore, it is a mistake to omit saying hello to them on your way from their front doors to their patios.

It is, in fact, rude to omit any of the social amenities, in the belief that these people don't need them because they are blessed with swimming pools.

You should not drop in on them unannounced, with an expectant smile on your face and an inflatable sea horse tucked under your arm. Nor should you drop in on them announced. You must wait for them to invite you, and if you can't wait that long to see them, why you just invite them over to your house. In other words, you treat them just as you would if they were high and dry.

If they do invite you, it might be a good idea to behave well so that they will invite you back.

Start by bringing the proper equipment. This is tricky, because if you are not specifically invited over "to swim," you are supposed to pretend that you are coming in order to enjoy the hosts' company. but since they may mention swimming after you arrive, and you do not wish to put on them the burden of supplying you, what you do is to bring the gear along, but hide it. Leave it in the car or in an over-sized handbag.

This means a bathing suit, bathing cap, sandals and whatever lifesaving devices or toys you may require when wet. Pool owners are reconciled to haying to provide towels, but it is a nice touch to bring them, too. It is an even nicer touch to bring the wine or little edibles the hosts are probably also in the habit of having to provide.

The caps and sandals are necessary to fulfil another obligation of the guest, which is not to leave the hosts' home, indoors or out, in a worse state than before your arrival. One puts on a cap in order not to clog the pool with hair, and one puts on sandals in order not to track up the floors.

There are also things to be omitted because they are bad for the water or the filtering system: suntan oil, insect, repellant, Band-Acids.

However, you also have an obligation to keep yourself well on the premises, so that the host is not left feeling uncomfortable because you broke your neck doing fancy dives or drowned in his pool. For this reason, one does not show off in a friend's pool, endanger others or learn to swim or dive there.

One does not engage in potentially offensive behavior there, such as merrily pushing others in the pool or stripping without the hosts' permission; and one monitors the behavior of one's offensive dependent at all, and the chidren from shouting or splashing.

And especially, one does not stand still in the pool, with a vague, abstracted expression on one's face.One puts on those sandals and goes into the house for theat. Miss Manners Responds

Q: My husband and I had a wonderful coffee-brandy drink in a restaurant recently. The rims of the glosses were frosted with sugar, which looked delicious. Would it have been proper for us to taste the sugar?

A: Miss Manners can hardly imagine anything that would do more for an evening or a marriage than for a wife and husband to sit oppostie, looking at each other, while silently licking the rims of fine glasses.