DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago when I was in college, I worked briefly as a topless dancer to pay my rent. I am not proud of it, and frankly, I try to forget it ever happened.
I am now married and have young children. My husband knows about my past and doesn't judge me. We have an agreement -- we just pretend it never happened. Of course, nothing has been said to our children or other family members, and we do not plan to say anything.
I have a friend from college, "Nancy," with whom I get together once or twice a year. We recently had her over. Out of the blue, Nancy looked at my 2-year-old daughter and said, "Did you know your mommy used to be a stripper?" Then she laughed. I was stunned. I let out a nervous laugh and stammered, "Uhh ... I try to forget I ever did that." She laughed and repeated her comment to my child!
Nancy is the last person I would have expected to say something like that. It wasn't meant maliciously, but I don't know why she said it. Maybe it was just a joke that turned out incredibly not funny. She has no children, so maybe she doesn't realize how impressionable a 2-year-old is.
My husband wasn't in the room when it happened. When I told him about it a few days later, he was very upset. He said I need to address this with her before we get together again. He says if I don't, he will.
I feel that we don't see Nancy often enough for this to be an issue. I couldn't believe she said it in the first place, but I can't believe she'll do it again. Of course, I'd be horrified if she did. What do I do? -- STRIPPED OF MY PRIDE
DEAR STRIPPED: I believe your friend will do it again. Nancy appears to be a person who lacks good judgment, or is simply unaware of how embarrassed you are by this part of your past. Although your daughter is too young to have understood the significance of your old college chum's statement, it should not have been made in the first place.
Explain to Nancy that you are not proud of what you did and ask her not to bring it up again, especially in front of your children. If she won't comply, then it may be time to end the friendship.