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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My best friend of 40 years has asked me to fly to her son's wedding in a few months, arrive early to help with everything and not be included in the rehearsal dinner. I explained that I'm not going to spend more than $1,000 to fly out early, stay in a hotel, rent a car and not attend the dinner I've helped set up, decorate, etc. She said she's not inviting out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner, and it's family only. She then uninvited me to the wedding and hung up on me! We haven't spoken since.

Am I crazy or was she, for expecting me to go work my behind off and leave before the guests arrive? -- NO ONE'S SLAVE

DEAR NO ONE'S: What happened proves the truth of the adage that weddings and funerals can bring out the worst in people. Your friend's request was insensitive and rude, and she should be ashamed of herself. You would have been more than "an out-of-town guest," and you should have been thanked for your efforts at the dinner.

Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Money | Friends & Neighbors

DEAR ABBY: I've dated a guy for three months now, and I still can't be completely open with him. I am afraid the real me isn't that likable, so I have become less talkative in this relationship.

Each time we go out, he's always the talker, and when sometimes I want to say something, I clam up. I like him a lot, and I don't like myself being this way. I am outgoing and talkative when I'm with my friends. I like the way I am when I am with them because I feel free and relaxed.

He has started to complain about my quietness, and it's upsetting. Each time he mentions it, I feel like I'm exposed. Should I continue this relationship? -- NOT QUIET IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR NOT QUIET: Don't look now, but your self-esteem appears to be sagging. Stop hiding in a self-imposed "closet" and show this person who you really are! Whether the relationship survives the disclosure I can't guess, but I have a premonition that he will like you even better than he has for the last three months.

Read more in: Love & Dating

DEAR ABBY: I have a limited income with which I support myself and my four children. When it comes to clothing, my kids' needs obviously come first, and most of my money goes to buying their clothes. The majority of mine come from clothing banks.

My problem is, when someone compliments me on an outfit I'm wearing and asks where I got it, I don't know what to say. I'm embarrassed to say it's from a clothing bank, but at the same time I don't like lying. Any suggestions? -- SMALLTOWN POOR

DEAR SMALLTOWN POOR: I do have one. When you are complimented on an item of clothing, say thank you. And if the person asks where you bought it, say it was given to you. It's the truth. It was given to you at the clothing bank.

Read more in: Money | Family & Parenting

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