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by Abigail Van Buren

Expectant Mom Wishes Her Good Deed Could Be Undone

DEAR ABBY: I'm in a bit of a predicament because I lent my maternity clothes to a friend who is due in late December. Her husband lost his job.

I just found out that I am expecting and I am due in late April, and I have no idea how to ask for my clothes back without offending her or telling her I'm pregnant. (My husband and I aren't telling anyone yet.) I don't think I should wait until I start showing -- which could be soon, based on previous pregnancies -- because she really needs them and I know I'd be leaving her with very little notice that she needs to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Any help would be greatly appreciated. -- IN A BIND IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR IN A BIND: Swear your friend to secrecy and explain that you're pregnant, too. Then, rather than take all your clothes back, take some -- and fill in your maternity wardrobe by buying yourself some new items. You have the income in your household to do it. Right now, she's "stuck" -- so be a generous friend and don't leave her naked.