Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I have found the man I will be with for the rest of my life. I knew from the moment I met him that he was The One. We are very happy and very much in love.

Ever since I was about 9, my mother and I have had our palms read, our tarot cards done, charted our birth signs, etc. It's a little superstitious, but hey -- we have fun with it. We still do it to this day.

When I was 17, our palm reader proceeded to tell me about my life and explained that I will have two husbands, and my first husband will die. Abby, I can't stop thinking about this, and when I do I can't hold back the tears. I can't tell my boyfriend because, as anyone would, he'll think I am being silly.

I wouldn't take this so seriously if the palm reader hadn't been so accurate regarding past experiences in my life. I need some sort of relief from my fear because I'm afraid that when we're married I'll always be waiting for the day my husband doesn't come home. Please help me. -- MISERABLE IN MILWAUKEE

DEAR MISERABLE: I live in a community where psychics and palm readers are as omnipresent as head lice. While some of them can be remarkably accurate in their predictions, others are charlatans. What your letter illustrates is that while palm reading, tarot, etc. can make for lively entertainment, superstition can be a powerful and destructive force.

May I point out that statistically most women outlive men. Viewed in that light, what your psychic told you wasn't necessarily bad news. It could be interpreted to mean that you will have a long and happy union with the man you love. And when he predeceases you -- as most men do -- you will once again find love. And, honey, from my perspective, that's GOOD news.

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DEAR ABBY: Allow me to share with your readers an idea that can help others. Many charitable organizations mail out cards, wrapping paper and note cards with requests for contributions. If they aren't needed, please donate them to nursing homes or assisted-living centers.

Many people who live in such places cannot afford to buy cards, paper, etc. for loved ones. Also, old paperback novels and magazines are always appreciated. -- AMY IN VIRGINIA BEACH

DEAR AMY: I love your idea. Now let me share another one -- for travelers who accumulate extra soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners and body lotions in hotels. These items can be donated to homeless shelters to be given to those less fortunate.

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DEAR ABBY: I am a 26-year-old female and work closely with a 45-year-old man. This man frequently asks me very personal questions and pushes his religious ideas on me. I have told him I do not share his religious beliefs and don't wish to discuss them at work, but it hasn't worked.

How do you politely, but forcibly, tell a co-worker that he is overstepping his bounds when he doesn't seem to know when to stop? -- JEWISH GAL IN MARYLAND

DEAR JEWISH GAL: Tell your co-worker you respect his religious beliefs and you expect him to respect yours because you are happy with them. Then say that you will tolerate no more of his efforts at conversion because they are bordering on harassment -- and if he continues you will report him to your supervisor or the boss.

You have a right to work free of religious harassment, and if your boss doesn't put a stop to it, you could bring legal action or file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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