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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have kept a letter you ran in Newsday (New York) on Aug. 20, 1982, and believe it is even more appropriate today.

If you agree, please consider rerunning it.-- JACK PLETMAN, HUNTINGTON STATION, N.Y.

DEAR MR. PLETMAN: I agree. Thank you for sending it.

DEAR ABBY: This is a letter I would like my neighbors to see. Perhaps your column will reach them:

"Dear Neighbors: I am reminiscing today over the 25 years that we have been your neighbors. When we moved here from out of state, we waited for you to welcome us. You never did.

"We are a decent, respectable family. Maybe our children were a little noisy at times, and our grass was uncut once in a while, and our religion was different from yours -- so you ignored us.

"Events in our lives -- births, graduations, weddings, deaths -- came and went with no acknowledgments from you.

"Now that we are all old and the children are gone from the street, shall we be hypocritical and mourn your deaths, or regret your moving?

"I think not. We are all poorer for having ignored one another, but we survived. May our children extend the hand of friendship to their neighbors." -- AGNES IN CULVER CITY, CALIF.

DEAR AGNES: What's done is done, but times have changed. Neighbors need each other today for security as well as for the sake of old-fashioned friendship.

This is a plea for people to reach out and offer their friendship to the newcomers in the neighborhood. And if the welcome is slow in coming, the newcomers should initiate the dialogue.

Nothing separates like silence.

DEAR ABBY: "Steve" and I have been married for three years. I'm 37 and Steve is 30. Steve told me right off the bat that he did not want children. (I was ambivalent.)

Recently I asked him to get a vasectomy as some of his friends have done, because I'm tired of the cost of the pill as well as its side effects, and a vasectomy is easier than female sterilization. Steve absolutely refused even to discuss it with me, much less with a counselor.

Abby, now I'm worried that in a few years down the line he could divorce me and have children with a younger woman, but I'd be too old to get married again and have children.

Is Steve just using me for sex and companionship until he reaches the financial peak of his career?

I am considering getting pregnant "accidentally" so that even if we got divorced, I'd have some child support coming in. What should I do? -- ANXIOUS IN ST. PAUL

DEAR ANXIOUS: The questions you have raised indicate that your marriage is on shaky ground. A marriage without trust is no marriage at all. It is possible that your husband is afraid that a vasectomy will be painful, or somehow make him "less of a man." It is imperative that you and Steve reach an understanding about this. "Accidentally" getting pregnant will only worsen the situation.

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.)

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