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by Abigail Van Buren

Get-Well Wishes Go Astray if Not Carefully Addressed

DEAR ABBY: I am a volunteer at the local hospital, and I deliver the "get well" cards to hospital patients. Here are some suggestions to ensure that the cards are delivered to the patients without delay.

-- Be sure to put your name and return address on the envelope. This helps the patients determine whether or not the card is meant for them. Also, if the patient has gone home, or died, we are able to return the card to the sender. (Today we had two women with the same first name, middle initial and last name. One woman opened all six cards, and four of them were for the other patient.)

-- When addressing the cards, use the patient's given name ("Mary L. Jones") not a nickname ("Sissy Jones") or her husband's name ("Mrs. John Jones"). Also, do not use room numbers; patients frequently change rooms.

Last week we received a card for "Buddy." We also had a "Charles E. ----" listed, and all his cards were addressed to "Ed," "Eddie" and "Edward."

-- Please write clearly and do not use the entire face of the envelope for the address. If the patient has been released, we must mark through the hospital address and squeeze the home address on the card.

-- And last, but not least, if a patient is in the hospital for a long time, send cards at frequent intervals. -- NAOMI D. TRENARY, WINCHESTER, PA.

DEAR NAOMI: Thank you for the suggestions, which everyone should heed. Greeting cards can boost a person's flagging spirit -- but only if they are received by those for whom they are intended.

DEAR ABBY: Last Friday, some friends and I went to a nightclub to listen to the band and have a drink. Shortly after I arrived, a very attractive man asked me to dance. (I'll call him Bill.) We hit it off immediately, and he asked if I was married. I told him I wasn't, and he said, "That's great -- neither am I." I invited him to sit at our table, and I found him to be a really neat guy.

At the end of the evening, Bill said his ride home had left, so I gave him a ride home. He told me his roommate had guests over and he didn't want to intrude, so we parked in front of his place and talked and kissed for nearly two hours. When we finally said goodbye, we had spent four beautiful hours together.

Before leaving, I gave him my phone number with high hopes of hearing from him. (He gave me no phone number.)

A few days later, a friend who had been at the club when I first met Bill told me that Bill is a married man who lives with his wife and four children. Abby, I was shocked. If he calls me, what should I say? -- SHOCKED IN FRESNO

DEAR SHOCKED: Tell him that you learned that he is married, and you have no time for married men. Then say goodbye!

By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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