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by Abigail Van Buren

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 month-long 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?

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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