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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Regarding the teen-age girl who is being called a lesbian because she finds wearing a bra uncomfortable -- at age 66 I have grown weary of people whose only exercise is jumping to conclusions!

I do not wear a bra because the straps hurt my pacemaker site. (My "alien implant.")

I wear clothing with double chest pockets, or T-shirts with wonderful, happy designs so my braless state is not obvious. At my age, if I did wear a bra it would be a 34-long! -- GLENNA MAHON, CONCORD, VA.

DEAR GLENNA: I agree; there may be mitigating circumstances for going braless. Your letter reminds me of this old joke: "When is a brassiere like the Salvation Army?" Answer: "When it uplifts the downfallen."

DEAR ABBY: A close friend died unexpectedly. It was a shock to all of us who loved her. Attending the funeral helped me to say goodbye and eased the grief. The service was so beautiful that I commented later to my husband how I wished I could have videotaped it in order to remember the wonderful closure it gave me. He said he, too, would have liked a videotape, but that people would have thought it "tacky" if we showed up with a video camera.

My husband is 66 and I am 31. We know the odds are that he will die before me, and would like this question answered before that happens. Abby, is it awful to want a record of saying goodbye to a dearly loved human being in this manner? -- GRIEVING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR GRIEVING: Some churches provide audiotapes of funerals. If the family would like a video of the eulogy portion of the service, to record the tributes for later viewing or to share with those who could not attend, I see nothing wrong with it. However, some attendees might prefer that their grief not be recorded for posterity, and their wishes should be respected.

If the family makes the arrangements, I'm all for it. But for someone to simply show up with a video camera would be intrusive and insensitive.

P.S. Since none of us has a contract with God, there is a chance that you could predecease your husband. How would you feel about your funeral being videotaped?

DEAR ABBY: I am responding to Jim Isbell's letter about his experience with the Vietnamese man who was working in a restaurant on Mother's Day. Vietnam DOES have a Mother's Day. It takes place on the 15th day of July on the Vietnamese calendar, and is called Vu Lan.

On Vu Lan day we go to the temple and pray for our mothers to live long lives. If our mother is still alive, we wear a red rose. When people wear a white rose, it means their mother has died but they are at the temple to remember her.

Most Vietnamese Buddhist temples have a tradition of wearing roses on Vu Lan day. If you go to a temple on this day without wearing a rose, people in the temple will ask you about your mother and will pin a red or white rose on you. -- D.N.K., ROSEMEAD, CALIF.

DEAR D.N.K.: What a lovely tradition. I'm struck by the fact that we have a similar one in our culture. A red carnation is worn on Mother's Day to signify that one's mother is living; a white carnation signifies that one's mother is deceased.

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, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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