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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Lacks Ginger to Join Husband's Fred Astaire Act

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 14 years. He is a good provider and a loving father to our two children.

We are part of a social circle that entertains frequently, and that is where the problem lies. My husband dances with every woman at the party while I sit at the table watching him make all kinds of sexy movements with them. He doesn't ignore me completely, but I am uncomfortable watching him touch all these other women.

If I say anything, my husband argues that I am the one he goes home with, buys the jewelry and gifts for, and comes home to every night. He says my disapproving looks spoil his fun, and claims he just likes to have a good time.

He shows his affection toward me when we are alone. We go on vacations together frequently. He says he loves me and the children and that our marriage is forever. But this dancing thing is bothering me.

How do I handle this? Should I just not pay attention, or try to give him a dose of his own medicine (but I am not the type to go around asking every woman's husband to dance)? -- SITTING ON THE SIDELINES IN NEW YORK

DEAR ON THE SIDELINES: Your husband is acting as though he has nothing to hide, and apparently he doesn't. He comes home to you every day and is affectionate and generous in word and deed.

Since no one else reacts negatively to his dancing, evidently he is not behaving inappropriately. Consider taking some lessons, thereby making yourself a more interesting and enjoyable dance partner. Then perhaps your husband will ask you to dance more often.

DEAR ABBY: This is another true story about a kind act from a man of character: Harry S. Truman.

Many years ago, I was a young Army wife traveling with an infant. I was at Washington National Airport, having been bumped from my connecting flight, badly in need of a bathroom, but I could not leave my baby alone.

A gentleman sitting on the bench with me saw my distress and said, "I will be here for the next half-hour and I am experienced in child care, as I have a young daughter." His face was familiar, but I could not place it until the loudspeaker blared, "Senator Truman, please come to the desk." As he left, he said, "Don't worry, I'll be right back."

He was true to his word, and I felt very comfortable letting the man who had recently been nominated for the vice presidency baby-sit for me. When I returned, he proudly said, "Your baby needed a change, so I found your diaper bag and took care of everything."

How the world has changed! -- NANCY HERTZBERG, PALM BEACH, FLA.

DEAR NANCY: What a wonderfully warm memory of President Truman. Obviously, he could be counted on to do whatever had to be done in any situation. Thank you for sharing it.

DEAR ABBY: The letter from the woman whose husband talked too much reminded me of a humorous incident in which I was involved.

Some years ago a new priest was appointed to our parish. Shortly after he arrived, my wife invited him to our home for dinner as a welcoming gesture. As a special treat, she also invited another couple who were mutual friends. The wife had been a parochial school classmate of the priest, and the husband had been his fraternity brother at the university before he decided to study for the priesthood.

Abby, I love this woman like a sister, but I've often said that she's the only person I know who talks more than my wife. All through the cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and well into dinner that woman dominated -- no, she monopolized -- the conversation.

After we finished the main course, the women went into the kitchen to prepare dessert. At this point, the priest turned to the two of us and said, "You know, celibacy isn't all that bad!" -- NO NAME OR TOWN PLEASE

Everybody has a problem. What's yours? Get it off your chest by writing to Dear Abby, P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069. For a personal reply, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

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