DEAR ABBY: I agree with your answer to "Caught in the Middle," whose new girlfriend resents his ex-wife's being present for their 6-year-old son's special days. Throughout the many years that I have been married to my second husband, we have welcomed his two ex-wives, my three stepchildren and all their spouses to join us for special occasions as an all-inclusive extended family. There have been a few instances when none of the children were able to join us for a holiday celebration, but we were pleased that the ex-wives still attended. Our extended family has enriched our lives.
Divorce between parents needn't mean one of them must also separate from the children -- the parental relationship still remains.
Rather than disrupting an apparently cordial relationship that is being maintained for the benefit of a young boy, the new girlfriend should realize that the mother's interest in sharing time with her child for holiday events that include other family members isn't "weird." To deny the ex-wife access to her son's special activities would be detrimental to all concerned. -- MARY JANE SCHONEBERGER, PHOENIX
DEAR MARY JANE: Were it within my power to do so, I would nominate you for a Medal of Common Sense and Magnanimity. You are terrific, and your husband is a lucky man.
DEAR ABBY: I hope you will print this for the poor teen-age girl who was ridiculed for not wearing a bra. I suggest that she's simply more sophisticated than her ignorant classmates, and also the average 16-year-old.
I have been a fashion model for more than 20 years. Understanding the proper undergarments -- or an appropriate lack thereof -- is an elementary concept to anyone in the fashion industry or even a well-groomed person in general.
Although it would be inappropriate for a buxom woman to go braless, I occasionally teach modeling to teens, and it's like pulling teeth to get them to understand that while modesty should, of course, be preserved, sometimes ALL undergarments have to come off. Any lines under clothing or display of underwear that is not part of a "look" and clearly intended to show, is a no-no.
How sad that people persist in being unnecessarily unkind over insignificant matters when that energy could so easily be channeled to do good in the world. It's time for her "friends" to grow up. -- DEBBI IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR DEBBI: You're absolutely right. Her classmates' obsession with her underwear -- or lack of it -- shows a lack of more important things to think about. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I have a suggestion for the poor "braless" girl who is facing cruelty at school.
This may be a perfect opportunity to expose her ignorant classmates to the history of women's lib in America. Many of her classmates can look forward to career opportunities that may have remained inaccessible without the activism of braless, unshaven women in the late '60s.
You go, girl! -- LISA MELYAN, PORTLAND, ORE.
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