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by Abigail Van Buren

Career Woman Happily Makes a Home for Live in Boyfriend

DEAR ABBY: I don't know how you feel about response letters to response letters. Nonetheless, the letter I read today from "Happy With a '90s Home Life," chastising your printing the letter from "Old-Fashioned and Proud of It," evoked a fiery response from me.

I am a 29-year-old woman with a college education, a professional career and a boyfriend I live with. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than knowing when he walks through the door, he has a meal, a neat home, and does not need to worry if his clothes are clean.

I consider myself fortunate to have good looks, brains, and to have retained the values of "making a home" my mother taught me, which I will be proud to teach the daughter I may someday have. I consider myself blessed to have a great guy, and I am showing him just that every day through my quite natural efforts. I know he loves me and I do not expect him to prove it by putting the pillow under my feet as I put them up. Any woman who aspires to shirking domestic duties she should be proud to accomplish can be summed up in one word: LAZY.

It is not a matter of women "serving" or men needing "survival skills." Relationships are about wanting to take care of your partner and making each day easier for him. Relationships are meant to be about "us."

Too many partners in relationships these days ask the question, "What can you do for me?" as opposed to, "How can I help you?" There is something wrong with this lack of selflessness, and quite possibly people have forgotten the definition of "true love." If two people really care for each other, there should be no thought of tit-for-tat. Acts performed from the heart all equal out in the end. -- HAPPY TO BE RON'S GIRL, 1997

DEAR HAPPY: I'm sorry you didn't allow me to use your name, but perhaps it's for the best. Ron might be killed in the stampede of contemporary feminists trying to do you in -- and men climbing over HIM to get to YOU.

DEAR ABBY: I am 70-plus and have just lost my wife. We had a very good marriage. I want to continue living an active life and begin dating when it is appropriate. How long should one wait to start dating, and how long should one wait to marry again? -- WIDOWER IN FLORIDA

DEAR WIDOWER: Grief is such a personal emotion that no one can presume to make rules that will apply to everyone.

A widow or widower may begin dating whenever he or she feels like it; the decision is yours. When you tie the knot again is up to you -- and the lucky lady who will accompany you down the aisle.

DEAR ABBY: My condolences to "Janis in Capistrano Beach, Calif.," who bragged that she wore makeup and a tight T-shirt to "lure the salesclerks" so her husband could get help. She apparently is blissfully unaware that she has been insulted.

It probably takes 100 well-groomed, hard-working professional women to offset the influence of each "Janis."

Women will never have respect, equal opportunity and equal pay until they learn to value themselves for their abilities and their contributions to society rather than the size of their bra cups.

You may print my letter if you wish, including my name and state. -- LEOLA FARMER, TULSA, OKLA.

DEAR MS. FARMER: I agree. And hasten the day when "... and blessed be they whose cup runneth over" refers only to good fortune.

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.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600