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by Abigail Van Buren

Live in Companion Left Out of Class Reunion Write Up

DEAR ABBY: My live-in companion (call her Beth) is having a 55-year class reunion in about a month. We have lived together for eight years, travel together, attend church together, etc.

The trouble is, when she received her information on the reunion, she answered the questionnaire saying her husband was deceased, she was active in church groups, had friends, traveled all the time (last year to Australia, Hawaii and Mexico) -- not once mentioning that she had a companion.

I pay for all her trips and all of her expenses. I feel left out by her failing to mention me. I don't even want to go to the class reunion. Please give me some advice. -- LEFT OUT

DEAR LEFT OUT: Perhaps your companion felt uncomfortable disclosing on a class reunion questionnaire that she is living with and traveling with someone who is not her husband, so try not to take her omission personally. If she wants you to attend her 55-year reunion with her, stop pouting and go -- and you'll both probably have a wonderful time.

DEAR ABBY: Thank you so much for a wonderful idea! Stan and Dell Slack celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 4. Since all of their relatives lived out of state, we felt that a party would be too hard to pull off. We saw a letter in your column from Kay and Carol about their parents' 50th. Nanny and Poppy Slack went on vacation and we "borrowed" their Christmas card list. We loaded all the addresses onto the computer and printed out labels. We chose attractive computer stationery (the American flag for the July 4 date!) for our letter -- and mailed out 70 of them.

We asked everyone to send Nanny and Poppy a memory or experience that they had shared sometime during the last 50 years. Two days before the big day, Nanny called and asked what we did. We tried to plead the Fifth but failed. The response was phenomenal. They received cards, letters and photographs, and we gave them an album to put them all in.

Nanny and Poppy were thrilled and are still ecstatic over all of the memories. We can't thank you enough for printing such a fantastic hint. -- JERRY, KATHY, CAITLIN AND COURTNEY SLACK, BASKING RIDGE, N.J.

DEAR JERRY, KATHY, CAITLIN AND COURTNEY: I can think of few things as priceless as being showered with happy memories. I'm happy to have been of service.

DEAR ABBY: I have been an avid fan of yours for years, but have been reluctant to add to your voluminous pile of mail until now. Concerning the letter in your column about "calendars that feature scantily clad young women," I do not believe your reply was entirely appropriate.

Most large companies have established rules against such sexual harassment. Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems Standard Practices 825-3, which includes the display of calendars that are offensive or sexually suggestive, is an example of such rules. Although there are many public laws and federal regulations against harassment, the most comprehensive is Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act.

I hope you will reconsider your reply and let people know that they do not have to put up with sexual harassment no matter how subtle. -- FREDERICK H. CLEVELAND, FORT WORTH, TEXAS

DEAR FREDERICK H. CLEVELAND: I have reconsidered, thanks to overwhelming outcry from more sensitive readers. Pictures of scantily clad women are inappropriate "art" for display in any office.

DEAR READERS: A reminder from a National Fire Protection Association bulletin:

"Never put butter, ointment or any form of grease on a burn. Grease insulates the skin, keeping the heat in, which makes the injury worse.

"Cool a burn by holding the burned skin under cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes. If the burned area is charred or blistered, the victim requires immediate emergency medical attention."

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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