Q. Christmas for me was unbelievably lonesome. I called one of my boyfriends to come over so that he could take me to the store to get some paper plates. While standing in line, he noticed what you might call a passion mark on my neck, that he didn't put there.

Furiously he walked out of the store. When I got to the car, we didn't talk, but drove home in silence. When I got home, he drove off.

I called later that day, trying to explain that it was nothing and that I was sorry. He said he wanted to be friends, and from there we would see how it went.

I can't bear this, because I love him with all my heart. What happened between me and the other person was because I was lonely, so I turned to someone else for attention. Help me. I want him back.

A. The man in question is being more than fair -- the word "foolhardy" springs to mind -- in offering to re-form a friendship that would not preclude a reinvolvement.

Be a good friend to him and let something more develop. He didn't storm off forever, and his conciliatory attitude shows that he cares, too.

Q. Two questions about sharing costs of common services:

1. Arrangements have been made to provide limousine service. The limo can accommodate six people. There are three people going, of whom two are husband and wife. What is an equitable way to divide the fee?

2. Two families plan to vacation together and share the cost of a rental house. One family is a husband and wife plus four children, and the other is a couple with no children. What is an equitable way to divide the costs?

A. In dividing such costs, relationships don't count.

Generations may count, however, on the sometimes laughable assumption that children actually use less of the services than adults.

In the first example, the cost is divided into three. In the second, the larger family pays more, but not necessarily three times as much. If the four children are put in one room, for example, paying twice the amount of the childless couple would strike Miss Manners as reasonable.

Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-black ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, in care of this newspaper.