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by Abigail Van Buren

Single Woman Is Perplexed by Sympathy From Others

DEAR ABBY: A new church member joined our group. She's the nicest, most generous, genuinely kind person, and she is loved and appreciated by all.

The problem is, she reeks with an awful body odor. She breeds dogs, and the smell is ingrained in her clothing, hair, car, etc. She always volunteers to work in the kitchen, and yesterday she did -- in spite of my having politely told her we had enough volunteers. Many of the people didn't want what she touched, including me. How should we approach telling her about her body odor without offending or hurting her? -- CONFUSED CHRISTIAN IN DETROIT

DEAR CONFUSED CHRISTIAN: The woman's strong body odor may be because of poor hygiene or her profession, but it could also be a symptom of illness. Someone should talk to her about it. To do so would be doing her a favor and not hurtful. The person I'm nominating for that job would be your minister.