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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Bingo players, beware! What does your husband or wife do while you are playing bingo five nights a week?

My friend told me she saw my husband, who is 71, get into a car with a "hussy" who is about 50. I decided to see if there was any truth to her story, so after my husband and I had dinner one night, I had him drop me off at the bingo parlor. He said he was going home, so I said I would ride home with a friend.

I had hired a detective who waited in a parking lot nearby and we followed my husband. Soon he parked his car and got into hers. What we saw made me ill, but I have never confronted him with my knowledge. Our religion frowns on divorce, so I just pray the old goat wakes up before he kills himself. He has broken my heart and if I were younger, he would be following me in the dust.

Do you think I did the right thing to quit bingo? -- B-9 in TENNESSEE

DEAR B-9: Only if giving up your game forced your husband to give up the game HE was playing.

DEAR ABBY: I agree with "Sally B." who finds exposed bra straps absolutely disgusting and tacky.

I wonder why women dress this way, especially in this day and age when you can walk into virtually any department store (even discount stores) and find bras of all shapes, styles and colors designed to function invisibly under almost any type of garment on the market. Many bras have convertible straps so they can be worn X-back, halter-style, one strap or strapless. They make bustiers to be worn under backless dresses, and when all else fails, they have ones like giant lace Band-Aids so one doesn't "jiggle." So the only excuse for exposed bras straps is plain laziness.

I'd like to add my pet peeve: white bras showing plainly through thin blouses. Don't these women know flesh tones exist? I hate seeing professional women who wear beautiful white blouses ruining the effect because their undergarments show through. Do they really want people looking at their bras all day? -- D.B. IN COLUMBUS, OHIO

DEAR D.B.: I was caught off guard by the number of people who responded to that letter -- there have been hundreds. Most of the writers agree with you and "Sally B.," but a few wrote to tell me they think exposed bra straps are sexy. Go figure. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I'm in complete agreement with "Sally B.'s" disgust with exposed bra straps. Many women do this consciously, especially teen-age girls. For some reason, they think it is sexy or attractive for everyone to know what color or how lacy their bras are. It disgusts me. Not only is it incredibly tacky, it shows complete disregard for the fact that underwear is supposed to stay under the clothing. To top it off, the women who expose their most intimate apparel act as if they didn't know there was a solution.

I worked in lingerie for about a year, and I happen to know there are bras especially made for those revealing tops. There is absolutely no need to walk around displaying your undergarments. All it takes is one quick trip to a department or specialty store to correct this embarrassing problem. Ask the salesclerk for a convertible bra -- she'll be happy to help.

Is it just me, Abby, or are panty lines equally disgusting? -- REPULSED 19-YEAR-OLD IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

DEAR REPULSED: I suspect that teen-agers do it out of ignorance of the fact that there's a solution to the problem, or because they are imitating Madonna -- who originated the underwear-as-outerwear fad. Or, perhaps, they're so proud of the fact that they finally need to wear a bra they can't resist drawing attention to it.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600