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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I eloped last January. We arranged for a minister, rented the tux, got the gown, printed 300 announcements, and told everyone we were going on "vacation." We planned it for months and told no one. I'm 31 years old and had never been married. After the ceremony, we mailed the announcements and went about enjoying our honeymoon.

We returned home to a house full of gifts and well wishes. Both sets of parents were very pleased, and everyone couldn't have been more supportive -- except for two people. Ironically, they are the twosome who introduced us, my husband's friend "Morris" and his live-in girlfriend, "Doris."

They are no longer speaking to my husband and me because they are hurt that they were excluded from our plans. They feel we betrayed them and claim we lied and deceived them.

A few nights before we left for Florida, my husband was out with the "guys." Morris pulled him aside and flat-out asked him if we were going away to get married. Because our plans were private and not meant to be shared until after we returned from our trip, my husband told him "no."

I hate to lose a friendship over something like this. Do you think we were obligated to tell them our plans? -- WONDERING IN WILMINGTON, DEL.

DEAR WONDERING: No, I do not. Just because Morris and Doris introduced you does not mean they own you as a couple. You were not obligated to reveal your plans to elope.

DEAR ABBY: I am an 81-year-old male senior citizen and would like to comment on the letter that mentioned nude beaches. I am very familiar with them and also with nudist camps.

Nudism must be good for the eyesight because I have never seen a blind nudist. A nudist camp is where married couples air their differences and, when they disagree, they barely speak. As a matter of fact, one married couple broke up because they were seeing too much of each other.

Did you know that nudists peel first and get sunburned afterward?

A lawyer joined a nudist colony, and he hasn't had a suit since. One nudist was picked up as a suspect, but the police had to let him go because they couldn't pin anything on him.

I visited a nudist colony one time and, as I drove in, I stripped my gears. The only other time I had anything to do with nudism was when I stayed at a nudist lodge. (I think it was called the Bareskin Lodge.) There were no clothes closets and all of the rooms had sudden exposure. It was a short vacation. I was soon asked to leave because my breath came in short pants. -- ED BENDER, ROCHESTER, PA.

DEAR ED: That's better than being asked to leave for displaying your shortcomings.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist." -- Louis Nizer, American lawyer (1902-1994).

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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