DEAR ABBY: Where is it written that it is the bride's duty to write all the thank-you notes? Aren't wedding gifts intended to be enjoyed by both the bride and the groom? At least half of our wedding gifts came from my husband's side of the family.
Even though my husband agreed to write thank-you notes for the gifts from his friends and relatives, he kept putting it off for so long, I was embarrassed, and I finally wrote them all myself.
Please print this in your column. Many newlywed wives will thank you. -- FRANK'S WIFE IN SPRINGFIELD, VA.
DEAR WIFE: Times have changed. More newlywed wives are now fully employed outside the home.
In years gone by, the husband brought home the bacon and the wife fried it. No more. There's a new innovation, as I clearly state in my wedding booklet: "The bride and groom share the writing of thank-you notes. She writes to her friends and family, he to his."
DEAR ABBY: Regarding "Enraged in Bremerton, Wash.," who has been inspired to political activism by the closing of a government-sponsored food shelter in her state: Why does she assume that it's the government's responsibility to feed the hungry? Where in the Constitution does it say that? Rather, it is our duty as neighbors and citizens to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
She wanted to know what she could do to influence the government about the injustice of the closure. While voting responsibly and educating herself on the issues is always a good idea, rolling up her sleeves and pitching in to solve the problem herself is an even better idea. How about getting on the telephone to private businesses and local community members and asking for their financial support to keep it open? She could also make calls to area grocery stores, wholesalers, restaurants, etc., and ask them to regularly donate their surpluses and good-but-unsellable food to the food bank. She could ask local media to announce a food drive to help fill the shelves as well, and ask for volunteers to run it.
Many food banks across the country are run in precisely this manner -- all organized and staffed by volunteers. When we volunteer our own time, it brings us closer to the problem, and we become more invested in solving it, rather than sloughing off responsibility to the government. Best of all, it's done with donated time and food that would have gone to waste, rather than spending our precious tax dollars. -- EILEEN COALE, ANNAPOLIS, MD.
DEAR EILEEN: Thank you for your helpful suggestions to implement community activism. I see your point, and it makes sense to me. However, it's not as simple as you make it seem. There are health department regulations, tax ramifications and fiduciary responsibilities that I doubt an 18-year-old would know how to handle. Perhaps those wishing to solve this nationwide problem should volunteer to work with an established charity such as a privately funded or church-sponsored food bank or service club.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600