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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: This letter is in regard to "David's Wife in Tennessee," who really appreciates her thoughtful husband. That woman is just as valuable as her husband. She recognized a "nice guy" when she saw one.

Abby, you really hit the nail on the head when you said that many men who treat women with respect end up with nothing but rejection. It's mind-boggling how many women will disregard me because I'm not drop-dead handsome and don't drive a Jaguar. (I'm a single professional in my mid-30s with a master's degree.)

So, ladies, please get to know me on the inside before you pass judgment. You cannot know what I'm capable of until AFTER you know me. For example:

1. If your car dies 100 miles away at 1:00 a.m., I'll be there at the drop of a hat.

2. I'll work with you to create the best possible relationship, including a great sex life.

3. I'll take the kids away once in a while so you can have a "sanity day" by yourself.

4. I'll listen to you talk about your lousy day at work while I'm massaging your back.

5. I'll say things like, "Is it lovely outside, or is it just you?"

6. I'll help with the cooking, cleaning and ironing.

7. I'll treat you like you're No. 1 because you are the one I cherish the most.

8. I'll always be there for you when times get rough.

9. I'll hide cute little gifts so I can put a smile on your beautiful face.

Why go out with a good-looking guy who is boring when you can go out with a guy who will knock himself out to please you? (That's me!) -- AVAILABLE IN MAINE

DEAR AVAILABLE: If the reaction of the single women on my staff who saw your letter is any example, I'm certain that were I to disclose your name and address, you'd need police protection! Your letter is sure to lift the hearts of countless women who are wondering if there are any "nice guys" left out there.

Since spring is here -- and the birds are chirping and the trees are budding -- perhaps I should mention my Top 10 List of Great Places to Meet a Man ... or Woman:

1. Parents Without Partners.

2. Evening classes at a local college or university.

3. Clubs or organizations.

4. Square dance, ballroom, line dance or folk dancing lessons.

5. Through friends -- let your friends know you're available.

6. Through co-workers -- let your co-workers know you're available.

7. Professional organizations (e.g. Chamber of Commerce or any organization having to do with your field of employment).

8. Gym or health club.

9. Volunteer work for any cause about which you are passionate, including politics.

10. Church.

P.S. If you don't meet someone eligible at any of the above places, you may make a friend who can introduce you to one.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600