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DEAR ABBY: I am 25 and moved back to my hometown six months ago. Since my return, I have been socializing with a high school friend I'll call Josh. We go out fairly often and have become good friends again. Neither of us has any particular romantic interest in the other.

I invited Josh to escort me to the wedding of an old friend and he accepted.

After the reception, a group of us went to a mutual friend's for a hot-tub party. We were all having a great time, behaving like mature adults, until Josh went into the woods to make out with "Mandy," the 19-year-old cousin of one of the guests he met in the hot tub.

While Josh and I are just friends, I expected him to treat me with respect when he escorted me to the wedding and its attendant social functions. I felt hurt and humiliated by his actions, and I ended up leaving the party.

Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but am I wrong to think Josh behaved badly? I would never have done that to him. I want Josh to realize how much he hurt me, but I also never want to speak to him again. What should I do? -- GOLDILOCKS IN FLORIDA

DEAR GOLDILOCKS: What Josh did was rude, immature and boorish -- but speak to him again. It seems he never learned that a gentleman doesn't leave the lady he's escorting for a "quickie." If he wanted to make time with Mandy, he should have taken her number and called her another time -- after you were escorted safely home.

To give him the silent treatment would be letting him off easy. It's better for both of you to tell him exactly what's on your mind. If he doesn't know better, he needs to hear it. Besides, he owes you an apology.

DEAR ABBY: I am 22. I have a job and am engaged to marry a very nice man named "Jim" next year.

My parents divorced when I was 9. Mother abandoned me and I went to live with my dad, who subsequently married a lovely lady, "Diane." Diane has been like a mother to me. She and Dad have been helping Jim and me with our wedding plans.

Now that I'm older, my real mom wants to be my mom again, and she's very manipulative. When we spend time together, she treats me like I'm 9 years old. Then she complains that I don't spend enough time with her. I have told her I'm busy and she can come visit me, too, but she doesn't.

Abby, I have a wedding to prepare for. I wanted both my "mothers" to be at my wedding, but now I'm beginning to feel uncomfortable. What should I do? -- BRIDE-TO-BE, CHEHALIS, WASH.

DEAR BRIDE-TO-BE: Continue with your wedding plans and stop feeling the need to explain yourself to the mother who abandoned you when you were 9. Either she has convenient amnesia, or for her, time has stood still. You can be manipulated or treated like a child only if you permit it, so don't fall into that trap.

To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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