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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am a woman in my early 20s. At the end of last summer, suffering from a broken heart, I took a trip to a beach resort where I met an attractive man and had a one-week fling. I know what I did was wrong.

As I was leaving, "Jordan" asked for my telephone number and promised he'd call me. He never did. Two months later, I discovered I was pregnant. I figured I'd better let Jordan know, so I tracked down his phone number (after some pretty extensive investigation), and called him shortly after Christmas.

I know he answered the phone, because he has a very distinctive voice. He was very rude to me, said I had a wrong number and hung up. I never got a chance to tell him about the baby.

Abby, I'm not looking for any support from this man, because I am financially well-off. I felt it was my moral obligation to inform Jordan that he is going to be a father.

Our baby is due soon. The ultrasound indicates it is most likely a girl. Part of me says, "Keep this little girl all to yourself. Jordan will only deny her anyway." Another part says, "Tell him and let him deal with it." I also worry about what I will tell my daughter when she is old enough to ask who her daddy is. Jordan is not good father material, so I may be doing my daughter a favor if I don't tell him.

Abby, please help. I am very ambivalent. -- TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL

DEAR TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL: Jordan has a right to know he is going to be a father. It remains to be seen whether or not he is "good father material." Since you had difficulty informing him by telephone, write him a letter. If he runs true to form, it will be the last communication between the two of you.

Although you may not want to be reminded, you could have avoided this problem had you practiced safe sex in the first place.

DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school and would like to ask a girl to the senior prom. She is a junior, and wouldn't normally be able to go. The problem is, the prom is very expensive and I have no source of income. I have been saving from my small allowance for months, but have only managed to scrape together about $150. Tickets to the dance are $95, and by the time I rent a tux I'll be broke, if not in debt. My parents will not help me out. (Even if they offered, I don't think they could afford it.)

How can I ask her to go with me when I can't afford it? Please don't suggest that we do "free" things over the weekend, because the group of friends we want to go with have already made big plans -- expensive plans. If I could somehow tell her that we need to go dutch, that would make things more affordable.

I really don't want to ask her on the stipulation that we are to go as "just friends," because I think of her as more than that. Please help me, Abby. What should I do? -- PENNILESS FOR THE PROM

DEAR PENNILESS: It is unfortunate that what was once a carefree rite of passage that almost everyone could enjoy has become such an elaborate ritual that it is now beyond the means of many.

However, since that is the reality of the '90s, talk to the young lady and tell her exactly what you have told me. It's possible that she won't mind going dutch, and might even volunteer.

Readers, if you have found yourself in a similar situation and would like to tell me how you resolved it, I would appreciate your input.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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