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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Recently I was at a club with friends and ran into a co-worker. He was dressed in drag and introduced himself as "Glenda." At work, he dresses like a male and goes by "Glen."

Since that night he has been avoiding me and cutting conversations short, if not ignoring me altogether. Should I let him know I'm OK with his alternate persona, or let it be? I don't want to risk awkward situations. -- SYMPATHETIC IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA

DEAR SYMPATHETIC: I don't know how large your company is or how much contact you have with Glen. If the answer is it's a large company and contact is minimal, then let it be. If you have contact with Glen frequently, and his embarrassment is having an impact on your work relationship, then clear the air by letting him know that what happens after hours is his business and you do not gossip. Period.

DEAR ABBY: My sister, "Gina," recently became engaged to her longtime boyfriend. A few days after hearing about the engagement, I sent her an e-mail telling her my husband and I were free every weekend except Oct. 8, 9 and 10 because a dear friend had asked me months ago to be a bridesmaid in her wedding that weekend. I have already bought the dress and had it altered. I called Gina to explain the situation after sending the e-mail.

Yesterday, I spoke with my father and found out that Gina has chosen Oct. 9 for her wedding day, even though I told her I couldn't make it then. Gina wants me to be her matron of honor because she was my maid of honor.

Clearly, I cannot participate in two weddings on the same day at the same time in different locations. Who do I say no to? -- DREADING WEDDINGS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

DEAR DREADING: Let me get this straight. You warned your sister that you would be unavailable on a certain weekend, she chose that date for her wedding anyway, and you had to hear the news from your father? Could there be more going on with your relationship with your sister than you mentioned in your letter? Perhaps she felt "obligated" to have you in her wedding party because she was in yours?

From my perspective, you should thank your sister for her kind offer and remind her that you had already told her you would be unavailable that weekend. That way, you're both off the hook.

DEAR ABBY: I work in a small office, and every day a co-worker's adult child who works nearby comes here to have lunch with her mother. She knows everyone's business as if she worked here, and we're forced to order her something when we get takeout. Frankly, we're tired of it. How can we put a stop to this without hurting anyone's feelings? -- ONE MORE FOR LUNCH

DEAR O.M.F.L.: It appears the line between "family" and "business" has become blurred. The co-worker who is closest to the mother should approach her privately and say, "You should know that your daughter coming here every day is creating hard feelings in the office. If you want to have lunch with her every day, then you should be doing it outside the office. During our lunch time, we want to talk about things that are personal, and her presence makes that difficult."

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