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by Abigail Van Buren

Dad's Walking in on Couple Has Girlfriend Ready to Run

DEAR ABBY: Something terribly embarrassing happened to me yesterday -- it's every young woman's nightmare.

My boyfriend's father walked in on us during a very, very private moment. We are both in our early 20s and have been dating for three years and plan to marry next year when we graduate from college.

I don't know if this was a surprise for his father since his son and I have been dating for a long time, but I am very embarrassed about the situation. How can I ever face this man again? He told his son to let me know that he was very sorry, and he didn't mean to invade our privacy. I felt a little better about the situation, but I'm still too embarrassed to look the man in the face.

Do you think he feels differently about me now? And how can I deal with this? -- EMBARRASSED

DEAR EMBARRASSED: There is nothing you can do about the past, so there's no point in agonizing over it. If your boyfriend's father is somewhat sophisticated and worldly, chances are he is not nearly as shocked as you are embarrassed. The best way to deal with it is to say nothing.

DEAR ABBY: My son was married six months ago, and I just learned that a number of wedding gifts from our side of the family have not as yet been acknowledged.

As the mother of the groom, would it be improper for me to telephone or write a note to those whose wedding gifts have not been acknowledged? -- NO CITY, PLEASE

DEAR NO CITY: Although you are understandably embarrassed, it would be inappropriate for you to take it upon yourself to acknowledge your adult children's wedding gifts.

To do so would give the impression that your son and his bride are either lazy, negligent, disorganized, insensitive, thoughtless, procrastinating or ignorant -- or possibly all of the above. It would also make you appear to be a meddlesome and overprotective parent.

But since this has bothered you enough to write to me, I suggest that you tell your son and his bride that you are embarrassed by their negligence. Then volunteer to assist in a chore that appears to be too much for them.

DEAR ABBY: Some time ago, you referred to your definition of "maturity," but you printed only part of it. Will you please print the entire definition? As I recall, it was wonderful. -- BARBARA IN KAILUA, HAWAII

DEAR BARBARA: Here it is:


The ability to stick with a job until it's finished.

The ability to do a job without being supervised.

The ability to carry money without spending it.

And the ability to bear an injustice without wanting

to get even.

Most teen-agers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's 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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