Dear Abby:

I received a wedding invitation from "Lindy," the sister of my co-worker, "Lara." I don't know Lindy personally, but I assumed that Lara had asked her to invite my husband and me because we often socialize together.

When the invitation arrived, I immediately RSVP'd that we would attend. When I told Lara, she seemed pleased.

About three weeks before the wedding, Lindy called to say she had "inadvertently" sent me the invitation thinking I was someone else she knew. She said she had too many guests, and therefore I was being uninvited! I responded graciously, even though I felt humiliated. Lara never mentioned the subject to me.

By the way, other co-workers were invited. Now I feel stupid. Was this rude, or is this kind of thing no big deal?

Left Out in Louisville

The bride overbooked her wedding, and the way she cut the guest list was brutal. Please don't blame Lara for her sister's bad manners, and don't waste time and energy holding a grudge. Since you don't know Lindy personally, it's unlikely your paths will cross again.

Dear Abby:

I am an 11-year-old girl who wears glasses. I was wondering: When is a good age to get contact lenses? I realize that it is a responsibility, but how can I tell if I'm responsible enough?

Wishing for Contacts in Napa, Calif.

That's something you and your parents should ask your eye doctor. I recently read that although doctors used to discourage children under the age of 12 from wearing contacts, the age barrier has recently been revised downward. If you are responsible about chores, school assignments and your grooming, I see no reason you wouldn't be responsible enough to handle contact lenses.

Dear Abby:

I am in a terrible bind. Some years ago, I made a Halloween costume for a former roommate, "Connie." The costume was a nun's habit and it came out great. When I showed her the costume, I had a cross with it that had belonged to an aunt of my mother's who had been a nun in a religious order. Connie begged to borrow the cross, and I lent it to her against my better judgment. She then moved to California and I lost touch with her.

Now my mother is asking for the cross, and I'm afraid to tell her that I made a family heirloom part of a Halloween costume. What was I thinking! Connie refuses to return it to me, saying that she returned it "years ago."

I have sent her several e-mails. Now she has changed her e-mail address to avoid me. You are my last hope. I know Connie is a devoted reader of your column and so is her mother -- who also wore the costume. I'm praying they will see themselves and save me from the wrath of my mother.

Desperate Daughter, Staten Island

The cross should have been returned to you the day after Halloween. If it was inconvenient for Connie to bring it to you, you should have made it your business to go and collect it. It's a shame that your former friend is lying about having returned the cross. What she's probably afraid to admit is that she or her mother lost it, and now she's hiding. (Some "friend"!)

Very few people recognize themselves when they are written about in this column, so my advice to you is to level with your mother and start praying that she's forgiving. It's time to face the music.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

(c)2004, Universal Press Syndicate