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Dear Abby 8/29
Clothes-swapping party might not fit big gal
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    DEAR ABBY: I'm hosting what's called a Naked Ladies Party. It's where all the women come over with all the clothing, accessories, jewelry, etc. they no longer want. We strip down to our skivvies, try on each other's stuff, then vote on who should get to keep it. (Basically, we just swap items to get new ones.)
    I have a very good friend I'd like to invite, but she is significantly larger than the rest of us and wouldn't fit into any of our clothes. She acts like she's not sensitive about it, but I don't want to embarrass her by inviting her.
    She and I work together and some of the women from work are invited, so she will find out about it. I feel like no matter what I do, I'm going to hurt her feelings or put her in an embarrassing situation. What should I do? -- IN A PICKLE IN LAKEWOOD, OHIO
    DEAR IN A PICKLE: Talk to your friend about the party and let her know exactly what it's about. While she may not be comfortable stripping down to her skivvies and the clothing wouldn't be appropriate, she might be interested in the accessories and the female bonding. Let her decide.
    DEAR ABBY: My daughter's 21-year-old boyfriend, "James," tries to make her jealous by complimenting me or making inappropriate comments about me to her. I have only recently been made aware of what he's doing because he has never directed his comments to me — only to my daughter.
    "Monica" is a beautiful young woman. I am a 53-year-old mom, attractive for my age but nothing special. It is apparent James is playing some kind of mind game with her, and it has begun to have a negative impact on her relationship with me. I think my daughter needs to move on to a more mature guy. What do you suggest? -- JUST A MOM IN GRAPEVINE, TEXAS
    DEAR JUST A MOM: Either your daughter's boyfriend has formed a gigantic crush on you, or she's dating the most insensitive guy on the planet. Whatever is motivating him, the outlook is not good for her, and I hope she'll accept that the relationship is going nowhere positive and give that heel the boot.
    DEAR ABBY: I was taught that a performance receives a standing ovation when it is truly spectacular. When you are especially moved or inspired, you show your appreciation by standing. Abby, every show I go to now receives a standing ovation. I don't always join in. I feel it should mean something, not just be expected at the end of every show.
    I'm tired of getting the "evil eye" from people standing around me because I didn't feel an ovation was warranted. Don't get me wrong, I'm still generous with my applause and take into consideration all the aspects of the show. (For example, I wouldn't expect a play featuring 5-year-olds to be held to the same standard as a Broadway show.)
    Am I wrong? Should I stand with everyone else, and am I confused about the meaning of standing ovations? Or should I remain seated? -- RELUCTANT IN MADISON, WIS.
    DEAR RELUCTANT: If you don't feel a performance merits a standing ovation, stay in your seat. Do not let the reaction of other audience members intimidate you. It's possible they may be related to someone in the show, or even be the producers.
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