Q. I have three women friends who are married (I am not). We all enjoy live drama and go to see it together, having dinner before or after the play.

I am often mortified as they discuss their weekend plans. The worst was this past week, as they invited one another to New Year's parties, discussing times and places and who else would be there.

I am left feeling absolutely devastated. No invitation is made to me. It is quite clear that this is a married-only situation.

I know that if they realized how horrible they make me feel, they would be instantly apologetic.

A. Discussing social events in front of one who is not included in them is classically rude. The callousness required for doing so constitutes cruelty as well.

Establishing a couples-only social life is a social transgression only too often punished by fate. You must, indeed, call the problem to their attention.

The truly generous way to do it would be to invite them and their husbands to a party at your home. This would demonstrate the ridiculousness of their policy.

If you are not prepared to go that far at the moment, you may quietly say, "I don't wish to intrude on your private conversation," and withdraw. Embarrassing them is a necessary requirement for making them stop, but Miss Manners trusts that they will have the grace to apologize and reform.