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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: With all this talk about condoms, there's not a word about how to dispose of them safely. Are we assuming that condoms are used only in the privacy of one's own bedroom? Or do we see the real world and know that they are used anywhere and everywhere?

No mention is ever made of sanitary disposal. To a casual stroller, it would seem that accepted disposal is gravity. A walk in the park, and guess what? Your toddler just picked up an interesting little item. Or one cuts through the parking lot and finds evidence of what has been going on at an earlier time. Please, can't we protect others from the very thing the condom user is protecting himself from?

As the mother of a toddler 40 years ago, I was appalled when she found a "balloon" and was blowing it up!

With the enormous increase in demand, condom manufacturers can well afford individual packages that unfold to make a proper receptacle for disposal. I hope this makes your well-read column. -- MRS. E.S., SAN DIEGO

DEAR MRS. E.S.: Thank you for an excellent suggestion. I hope the condom manufacturers pick up on it. It would be a public service.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old girl who regularly baby-sits on weekends. The child is wonderful, but his mother is the one I'm having trouble with.

Every time I baby-sit, I wait weeks to get paid. On some occasions, I have even had to call this woman and ask her to please pay me so I can buy birthday presents, etc. I feel pushy and greedy doing this, but how else do I go about it?

So, Abby, please ask your readers to consider their children's sitters. After all, you can put off the telephone bill for only so long before the phone company disconnects your telephone. -- SITTER IN WAITING

DEAR SITTER: It's customary to pay the sitter immediately after the sitter has sat.

No need to feel "pushy" or "greedy" -- be up-front with the woman and tell her you expect to be paid promptly following each sitting. The squeaky wheel gets the oil -- so speak up.

DEAR ABBY: Your rerun on hugging is now out of date. It should be published with the following warning:

If you are a man and you hug a child, you may be accused of child molestation or pedophilia.

If you hug a woman, you could be charged with sexual harassment.

If you hug another man, you are suspected of being gay.

Well, you can still hug a dog. 0r can you? -- JIM TRUMAN, GRASS VALLEY, CALIF.

DEAR JIM: Yes, but only with the dog's permission.

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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