DEAR ABBY: You recently printed a letter from a woman who had celebrated her golden wedding anniversary on the wrong date because of an early pregnancy. She said she lied about the actual date of her marriage to save face. Her pastor told her to forget it - it was not a "major" lie. Abby, I was very disappointed to see you agree with the pastor.
Under the same circumstances, my husband's mother lied about my husband's date of birth. That made him four months younger than he really was, which made his school rec-ords, military service records, insurance policies and Social Security records in error - all because his mother wanted to save face. My husband discovered the mess when he needed a passport and sent for his birth certificate. He went through a lot of red tape to correct his records without telling his mother in order to spare her feelings.Abby, please don't go along with anyone (even a pastor) who condones lying. There is no such thing as a "major" or "minor" lie. A lie is a lie. - FOR TRUTH IN RICHMOND, IND.
DEAR FOR TRUTH: You are right: A lie is a lie. But some lies have major consequences while others have minor consequences.
DEAR ABBY: I recently broke up with my boyfriend of two years. Last night, he phoned to ask me to return the two beautiful wall pictures he and his parents had given me for Christmas last year and the bracelet he gave me the Christmas before.
Although I thought it was extremely tacky of him to ask me to return these gifts, my first impulse was to be big about it and let him have them.
Then, the more I thought about it, the more I felt like calling him and asking him to return all the birthday and Christmas presents I had given him these past two years.
Now I'm torn between doing what I think is right and getting even. The immaturity and absurdity of the whole situation belies the fact that this man is 35 and I'm 33. Also, we were not married or even living together.
What would you do if you were me? - (TRYING NOT TO BE) BITTER
DEAR TRYING: Once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient to do with whatever he or she wishes.
However, if I were you, I would return his gifts - if only to be rid of the reminders of this 35-year-old man who still has a lot of growing up to do.
DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter from the young woman who was planning her wedding, I thought you might be interested in a family wedding I attended a few years ago.
The bridgroom was a cousin of mine. He had a sister and a younger brother. After the parents had taken their seats, the music began to play again, and a tall man in a tuxedo walked down the aisle alone - except for the seeing-eye dog who led him. The dog wore a very proper formal bow tie.
Thinking this was rather unusual, I asked the younger brother later, "Weren't you supposed to be the best man?" He laughed and said, "It was my brother's wedding, and it didn't bother me a bit that he asked his best friend to be his best man." - MRS. J. MILLER, LOS ANGELES