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by Abigail Van Buren

Girlfriend Hopes Man Will Crop Ex-Wife Out of Picture

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for a year and three months. We're serious about each other and I plan to move in with him eventually. He's seven years older than me, divorced, and has a daughter I'll call Suzy. He doesn't get to see her much, which really hurts him. He has pictures of Suzy all over his apartment, which is OK because it's important for him to remember her.

What bothers me is the picture he carries in his wallet: It's one of Suzy and his ex-wife together. I could understand it if it was the only recent picture he had of Suzy, but he has others of just Suzy that were taken at the same time.

Quite recently, he found some pictures of other guys stashed away in a drawer at my place. I knew it bothered him, so I tore them all up in front of him, hoping it would make him realize that he is the only one for me. Now I feel it's his turn. He has other pictures of his ex-wife, but the one in his wallet bothers me the most. Should I ask him to get rid of that picture, or just pretend it doesn't bother me? -- BUGGED

DEAR BUGGED: Don't ask him to get rid of that picture, and don't pretend it doesn't bother you. Say nothing for the time being, and if you and he are ever man and wife, that would be the proper time for you to ask him to please remove the picture of "that other woman" from his wallet. Like it or not, she will always be the mother of his daughter, so you can't demand that he erase her from his memory.

DEAR ABBY: Some time ago, you printed a short item about the usage of a "guest towel" in the bathroom, and how it wasn't used but should be.

I make these towels and give them for gifts, but I lost the copy I first found in The Wichita Eagle -- and which I love to include with the gifts.

Could you please publish the little poem again? -- MILDRED LUTZ, WICHITA, KAN.

DEAR MILDRED: With pleasure. The author of the poem is Mabel Craddock of Ventura, Calif., who grew weary of having her guests dry their hands on toilet paper, bath mats and even her curtains -- leaving her pretty little guest towels untouched. Here it is:


Please use me, Guest;

Don't hesitate.

Don't turn your back

Or vacillate.

Don't dry your hands

On petticoat,

On handkerchief,

Or redingote.

I'm here to use;

I'm made for drying.

Just hanging here

Gets very tiring.

Most teen-agers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's new, updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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