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by Abigail Van Buren

Hickey on Husband's Neck Tells Truth Behind His Lie

DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, when I was in the hospital for complications during my third pregnancy, my husband walked into my hospital room with a large hickey on his neck. He reeked of alcohol and was wearing the same clothes he had worn the night before. I looked him over and saw another hickey -- only bigger -- on the other side of his neck.

I asked him where he got the hickeys and he said he didn't know what I was talking about, so I told him to go look in the mirror, which he did. "Oh," he said innocently, "those aren't hickeys -- that happened in a bar room scuffle. Some guy jabbed me with his elbow."

After my husband left the room, the woman in the next bed said with a knowing wink, "Hey, what were you two doing behind those curtains?" When I asked her what she meant, she said she had seen a big hickey on my husband's neck.

I have tried to just forget about it, but I can't. Abby, why is this still bugging me? -- CAN'T FORGET

DEAR CAN'T: It's bugging you because your husband lied to you and when you confronted him, instead of admitting it -- he lied again.

You need to resolve this and put it behind you. If your husband values his marriage, he will get into counseling with you. If he refuses, go without him. Your husband appears to have a lot of growing up to do.

He also may have a drinking problem, and unless he changes his behavior and gets help, he could wake up one day and discover that he has thrown away a good wife and three children.

DEAR ABBY: Car seating arrangements in America are usually automatically determined by the social class of the people involved.

If one working-class couple picks up another couple, the husband and wife whose car it is will usually sit in the front seat, and the guest husband and wife in the backseat.

Middle class: The two husbands sit in the front, the two wives in the back. Upper class: The woman guest sits in the front passenger seat next to the host driver, while the hostess sits in the back with the guest husband.

Abby, I believe that this pattern was discovered in a sociological research study that was done more than 40 years ago. -- DONALD L. MIESEN, SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR MR. MIESEN: Thank you for the input. I was not aware that this topic had been the subject of a sociological study -- until several readers wrote to tell me so!

A reader from Butte, Mont., wrote to say that you could tell which political party they belonged to by the seating arrangement: The Republicans usually sat with their wives, and the Democrats sat with the other fellow's wife.

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