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by Abigail Van Buren

White-Collar Woman Ponders Future With Blue-Collar Guy

DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old professional woman who is considered attractive. I am well-educated and enjoy a very successful career. I am currently dating a man my age who has a job doing manual labor. (He works in a warehouse.) He has only a high school education, which is all he ever wanted. He loves sports, has a great sense of humor and is not terribly ambitious. We never fight or argue, and he treats me like a queen.

This current man in my life is somewhat immature in that he is still very attached to his buddies and enjoys the bar scene -- although he doesn't have a drinking problem. (Two beers is his limit.)

He loves children and would be a kind and loyal husband and father. My biological clock is running, and I would like a family. I love him, but my question is: Can a relationship like this last? He wants to marry me, but I am concerned that perhaps he is too simple, and I might grow bored.

Last year, I ended a relationship with a man who wanted to run my life, and now I fear that in this case, I would be running this man's life. I have never been treated this well -- ever. If I do decide to end this relationship, how could I ever explain why? -- ON THE FENCE IN WAUKEGAN, ILL.

DEAR ON THE FENCE: A relationship like yours can last only if you appreciate what a rare jewel you have in a man who treats you like a queen, is loyal, caring and steady. Clip this letter, and should you decide to end this relationship, read it to him. He may not be as well-educated as you, but I assure you, he will understand and become history.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 44-year-old divorcee who married a 34-year-old man last December.

The problem is, he wants us to have a baby together. Abby, I already have two teen-agers by a previous marriage and I feel that I am getting too old to start a second family. However, I want to keep my husband happy.

What is your opinion? Should we try to adopt? We are both professionals, so money isn't the problem. -- CAN'T DECIDE

DEAR CAN'T DECIDE: This is one decision that you must make yourselves. Sit down together and make a list of all the advantages of having the baby. Then list the possible disadvantages. Next, list all the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a child.

You say you want to keep your husband happy, which is both generous and admirable. But it is equally important that the decision will also keep you happy.

DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine was engaged to be married and she was given several bridal showers. Her wedding was scheduled to be a month later. All the preparations were made -- then suddenly the wedding was canceled because the groom changed his mind.

Is the intended bride supposed to return all the shower gifts? Or are they hers to keep for her next wedding? Please answer soon. -- SUSAN B. IN NEWARK, N.J.

DEAR SUSAN: The bride should return the shower gifts. And promptly.

To get Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600