DEAR ABBY: Six years ago, my husband and I honeymooned in French Polynesia where we met three other newlywed couples. Some older people were there also. We considered them intruders and were pretty rotten to them. We hogged the hammocks, beach chairs and best tables, made fun of their bodies and generally made their lives miserable.
My father is a retired military officer who divorced my mother and moved to the Gulf Coast. Each year we join his houseguests for a big birthday barbecue weekend. A good friend of his from Virginia, an older woman, attends almost every year.
One of my uncles mentioned they were going to French Polynesia, so I brought our honeymoon pictures this year. When my father's friend saw them, she said she had been there at the same time we were, recovering from a monthlong camping trip in Australia. We soon realized why she looked so ''familiar.'' She was one of our victims. She must have recognized us long ago, but said nothing. We were so mortified, we returned to our room with a ''headache.''
I couldn't look at her the rest of the weekend and left without a word. My father knows something is wrong, but I can't bring myself to tell him. I have always been his favorite and would not want him to think I am such a rotten person. How do I get out of this? -- DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL
DEAR LITTLE GIRL: Your bodies may have been firm and beautiful, but the side of yourself you showed your unfortunate fellow travelers was truly ugly. If you have learned nothing else from your experience, it's that the world is becoming an increasingly smaller place.
There is no way to ''get out of this.'' So grow up, fess up, and apologize to your father's friend for your inexcusably rude behavior. She showed a lot of character by not telling your father about you, and you can learn a lot from her that you should have learned long ago.
DEAR ABBY: This morning with only a few minutes to go before we needed to leave for work, I asked my husband if the outfit I was wearing looked OK. His answer was, ''I don't like those pants.'' I was really ticked off. And then he got mad at me for asking him what he thought and getting mad at his answer.
I can understand this logically; however, I can't imagine giving anyone the same answer he did to that question. It was a rude and unhelpful thing to say and it hurt my feelings. It was too late for me to change -- and why should I change just because he doesn't like the pants? It's not like I have an unlimited wardrobe.
Now every time I wear those pants, I'll know that he doesn't like them. I guess the bottom line is, I was looking for an affirmation about how I looked, and he didn't give me one. Am I being too sensitive, or is he speaking his mind too much? -- MICHELLE IN SEATTLE
DEAR MICHELLE: Your husband thought he was being asked to give an honest opinion. I can't fault him for doing it. The next time you ask him a question about your appearance, carefully consider how you phrase it.
P.S. Look at it this way: Your husband must have an eye for quality -- he picked you, didn't he?
DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I became engaged. We are trying to decide whether to have a large wedding or elope. This is my second marriage and his first.
My first wedding was held in the town where I lived, 2,000 miles from my parents' home. It was very expensive, and my parents paid for everything. They told me they will not pay for this wedding unless it is held in the town where they now live. It's halfway across the country from where my boyfriend and I reside. Neither of us has friends there, but my mother's relatives live within driving distance. (These family members missed my first wedding because they could not afford to travel.)
Abby, my boyfriend's parents don't want to go that far for a wedding, and I think his mother is hoping we will marry in her Catholic church. I suspect my boyfriend wants to be married in their hometown and in the church, but he doesn't want to ask his parents to help pay for the wedding.
I feel bad because traditionally the bride's parents pay for the wedding. My mother is putting pressure on me because they spent a lot of money on my first wedding and her family wasn't able to attend.
My boyfriend and I cannot afford to pay for a wedding, so we have considered eloping or having a small wedding where we live with only family and close friends attending. We could then have two receptions, one here, and one in my parents' area. My parents might pay for a reception there.
Abby, is this a proper solution, or will people think we are cheap? And will this offend either set of parents? I'm willing to go with the flow, but I'm not sure in which direction it is flowing. -- UNHAPPY WEDDING PLANNER
DEAR UNHAPPY: You are making a lot of assumptions. You and your fiance should discuss this thoroughly before you proceed. Parents are not obligated to pay for any wedding, although they may pay for the first wedding as a gift. The bride and groom usually pay for the second (or subsequent) weddings.
Perhaps you and the groom should not be in such a hurry to walk down the aisle, and instead take time to save for the kind of wedding you both desire.
A small wedding with two different receptions to accommodate your parents and his would not be out of line. However, it would show more maturity if you and the groom financed everything yourselves.
DEAR ABBY: My co-worker has terrible bad breath. Others in the office have noticed it, but nobody has had the courage to say anything to him at the risk of offending him.
I work closest to him, but don't feel ''close'' enough to personally confront him.
The only way I can cope is to pop breath mints all day -- and always offer some to him. Sometimes I run out of them, and I can hardly do my job.
What would you do in my situation? -- CHOKING IN L.A.
DEAR CHOKING: The co-worker should be told!
I would ask to speak to him privately, take a deep breath, and simply tell him. He may be unaware of his problem, and the condition could be symptomatic of a medical or dental problem.
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