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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: When we were in our 20s, my best friend "Debbie" was an actress in several movies and television shows. Then she married, started a family and retired to be a stay-at-home mom. However, when she was just starting out and was desperate for work, she had a nude role in a movie. It wasn't pornography, but it was graphic.

Her sons are now in high school and college.

Last week, I was searching for her new e-mail address and did a Web search on the Internet. I found several pictures of her that had been taken on the movie set -- and those pictures could definitely be called pornographic.

I doubt if Debbie knows they exist, much less have been posted on the Internet. She is not much of a Net surfer, but her sons are. Should I tell her? Or should I keep my mouth shut and hope for the best? -- WORRIED IN WOOSTER, OHIO

DEAR WORRIED: If there were nude pictures of YOU on the Internet, wouldn't you want to know? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Better she should hear the news from you.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 23-year-old single woman who was in a serious relationship for three years with a man I had known for nearly a decade -- since we were children. We parted on bad terms a year and a half ago.

My friends and family tell me what a wonderful, funny, beautiful person I am -- that I have a great personality and I should begin dating again. They are always trying to set me up with someone. Sometimes the thought is appealing, but when the time comes to call or approach a guy, I get scared. I have been asked out, but I never go.

A part of me likes being single, but sometimes I get lonely and wish I could find the courage to ask a guy out. My mom keeps asking me if I've met anyone. I know she wants me to be happy, but I'm scared of being hurt again, so I lie to everyone and tell them I'm fine. But I can't lie to myself.

Can you give me some words of advice to boost my confidence? -- BURNED IN VICTORIA, TEXAS

DEAR BURNED: Only this: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As my dear mother used to say, "If you want a place in the sun, sometimes you have to put up with a few blisters."

Dating is a selection process, and hopefully we learn from our errors. Although you parted on bad terms, the relationship you had was a learning experience. It taught you what you DON'T want in a relationship, and that's a valuable lesson. Please don't give up now. You have only just begun. You may have to "kiss a few frogs," but it will all be worth it when you finally encounter Prince Charming. Just call me ... "BEEN THERE IN BEVERLY HILLS"

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have no children. Our friends' children are teenagers and are good kids. We often include them when we invite their parents to dinner at our home, or when we meet for a bite after work. We enjoy doing this on occasion, but our friends tend to assume that their kids have a blanket invitation to come along.

I would like to have an adults-only dinner gathering at our home. Is it OK to say that when I extend the invitation? -- HOSTESS, ANYWHERE, USA

DEAR HOSTESS: Of course it's all right. If you choose to host a dinner party, you are within your rights to specify that you want the evening to be an adults-only affair. And since you make an effort to include the children at other times, there should be no hard feelings.

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-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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