DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Bud," and I have been married more than 50 years. It has been a great half-century. We have good jobs and a fantastic family.

A problem has arisen recently that I need advice about. When I met Bud, I wasn't a virgin. I wasn't promiscuous, but I did end several dates with a "grand finale." Bud knew about it and was OK with it then, and he's still OK with it now. But he keeps asking me to describe those dates down to the most intimate detail. He says they are part of our "family history," just like our school activities and other events with family and friends before we started going together. I'm not sure I can remember everything, but Bud wants to hear about those things I can recall. What do you think about this? -- CAUGHT OFF GUARD

DEAR CAUGHT: I'd be fascinated to know why, after more than 50 years, your husband is suddenly pumping you for the information. Could he find the idea of you and another man titillating? To me, "family history" begins when a couple forms a family, not before.

If discussing the subject of your premarital sexual experiences makes you uncomfortable, then don't take the bait because if you do, I have a hunch your husband will never stop fishing.

DEAR ABBY: I work for a national package delivery company. It's nearing what we refer to as "peak season" (Christmas). We try our best to deliver the much-anticipated packages on time, but sometimes we are unable to find the addresses. If there are no names or numbers on the mailboxes or on the houses, we waste a lot of time trying to locate the right residence through the process of elimination.

What concerns us most is, if we -- experienced delivery people -- have problems finding a residence, we know an emergency vehicle will encounter the same problem. A few minutes' delay can result in a tragic outcome if an EMT is unable to find a house.

Please advise your readers to post their addresses clearly. If they do, it will help all of us to have a safer and happier holiday season. -- SANTA'S HELPERS IN ALABAMA

DEAR SANTA'S HELPERS: Thanks for this important reminder. Readers, to ensure that Santa finds you -- remember to have not only cookies and milk waiting by the fireplace, but also your address clearly visible so he can find you. And the same goes for the fire department, the police department and an ambulance if, heaven forbid, they should be needed.

DEAR ABBY: Would it be improper of me to write the owners of a house we are buying to thank them for selling it to us? My wife and I keep getting conflicting answers.

They have small children, so they're probably moving to a bigger place to accommodate their children. Selling us their house is allowing us the opportunity of starting a family like they did.

What do you think? Should we send it to them directly or to their real estate agent? We don't want to overstep our boundaries. -- SOON-TO-BE HOMEOWNER IN PHILADELPHIA

DEAR SOON-TO-BE HOMEOWNER: There may be reasons the owners are selling the house that have nothing to do with the fact that their children are growing. While the idea of a thank-you note is sweet, it would be better to wait until the sale is complete and you have lived in it awhile before writing. If you still feel the same a few months after you're in, then by all means share your gratitude and have the note forwarded to them by their real estate agent.

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