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by Abigail Van Buren

Parents' Answer to Son's Silence May Be New Will

DEAR ABBY: Our son has not spoken to us in four years. He is our only child, and we live in the same city. We had a misunderstanding over a petty incident, and he has ignored us ever since. He is married and has a teen-aged son.

We are not rich, but we do have some assets that have appreciated over the years. Our son and his family are our only heirs. We are considering rewriting our wills and leaving our son out of it. As for our grandson, we hardly know him because we haven't seen him in four years.

We would appreciate any advice you can give us. We trust your judgment. -- WITHHOLD OUR NAME, PLEASE

DEAR WITHHOLD: Either write to your son or call him and tell him you want to talk to him about your will -- that will probably bring him to your door in a hurry. If and when he shows up, try to settle your differences peacefully, so you can be a family again.

I hope he agrees to bury the hatchet, but if for some reason he is not willing, you would be justified in writing him off.

Please don't punish your grandson. He's the innocent victim of his father's anger. Give him a chance to establish some kind of rapport with you, and if he is a decent, caring young man, remember him generously in your will.

Otherwise, talk with your attorney about leaving everything to your favorite charities. And don't forget your local animal shelter. Animals want nothing from you but love.

DEAR ABBY: My husband is attracted to a pretty waitress at our favorite restaurant. We eat there at least once a week. She flirts openly with him and he loves it.

I have tried not to let it bother me, but she is getting very pushy. She compliments him on his hair, his eyes, his smile, and he eats it up. As soon as we come in, she comes to our booth and says, "I have a new joke for you," then she tells a dirty joke, and he breaks up laughing.

I suppose it's my husband's fault because he could tell her to get lost, but he doesn't.

I guess what really bothers me is the way he enjoys her company. He cheated on me once and it really hurt me, and I don't want to go through that again.

How do I deal with this situation? Don't tell me that we should stop going to that restaurant. It's very convenient, the food is good and the price is right. Please help me. -- WORRIED

DEAR WORRIED: Level with your husband. Tell him you are hurt when he pays so much attention to the waitress. Obviously she is trying to be entertaining, but she is out of line. If she didn't get so much encouragement, she'd back off.

DEAR ABBY: I enjoy reading your column in the Times-Picayune, but I've never written before.

Your quoting of Ogden Nash is not acceptable. He was a true versifier:

"Sure, deck your lower limbs in pants,

"Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.

"You look divine as you advance,

"Have you seen yourself retreating?

Now, that's poetry! -- THOMAS C. TEWS, NEW ORLEANS

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