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by Abigail Van Buren

Sales Parties Are No Fun for Woman on a Budget

DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old son was invited to a 14-year-old neighbor's birthday party. On the invitation it said, "Suggested gift -- $20." The boy's parents were aware that he put it on the invitation. I think it was inappropriate to ask for a specific gift, especially money. What's your opinion? -- OFFENDED IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR OFFENDED: My opinion is the same as yours. The fact that the parents didn't put a stop to the gift "suggestion" shows they either endorsed it or didn't know any better. By allowing it, the parents did a disservice to their son.