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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband, Son Desert Woman to Comfort Her Mother-in-Law

DEAR ABBY: Recently, my elderly father and his girlfriend threw a wedding for themselves. Invitations were sent with requests that included: dinner was to be a potluck, guests were asked to provide singing and music for the entertainment, and a note was enclosed that read, "In lieu of gifts, a monetary donation for our honeymoon fund would really make our day."

Now, weeks later, I have found out it was a huge charade. There was no wedding. What do I say to them? More than 50 friends and family attended this joke ceremony. Bear in mind, the bride and groom have been married multiple times before, and I now question the validity of those marriages. -- DUPED IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR DUPED: If guests traveled a long distance to attend the "wedding" as well as contributed money toward the "honeymoon," I can see why they would be upset about the fraud. I can also see why in the future the happy couple will have lost credibility and will have trouble attracting a crowd to their next performance.

What should you say to them? If you think anything you might say would shame them, forget it. They are without shame. And if you are invited to another shindig, just say NO.