DEAR ABBY: I have read many letters in your column over the years that have made my writing fingers itch, but "Papa Know-It-All" made me race to my word processor. This guy would try the patience of a saint!
Abby, my 76-year-old father has lived with us for more than four years. I'm blessed with a wonderful father. I don't know what I'd do without him. While my husband and I work long hours, Dad tends to the household chores, takes care of the four pets, runs errands, works part time, volunteers in his spare time and socializes with friends of all ages. He knows when to butt out of our business and asks us if we're interested in his opinion. He also pays his own living expenses out of his Social Security income and wages.
Certainly he has his faults, and we struggle with irritations, but his willingness to contribute to the family activities and responsibilities goes a long way in balancing the score.
I showed Dad the letter about "Papa Know-It-All" and asked him what his response would have been. He said, "Throw him out on his a--." -- DAUGHTER OF A WONDERFUL FATHER, OAKLAND, CALIF.
DEAR DAUGHTER: Your father is a man of few words, but many inner resources. Although I received a stack of letters condemning "Papa Luke's" controlling behavior, one reader had a bone to pick with me about my answer. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: You gave good counsel to "Papa Luke's Prisoners." However, I think the Serenity Prayer has been overworked in recent years.
"Prisoner" might like to try this one instead:
"Lord, this situation stinks and we both know it. Now, I'm going to try something different, because what I've been doing hasn't been working. And if Thou wishest to contribute to the miracle, be my guest!" -- THE REV. D.M. MEEKER, JOPLIN, MO.
DEAR MR. MEEKER: God gifted you with a wicked sense of humor. Your version is certainly an attention-getter. Although many people strive for a personal relationship with the Lord, somehow I hadn't envisioned it as being so informal. Your interpretation will probably wind up posted on more refrigerators than you know.
DEAR ABBY: I have learned the most important truth about relationships the hard way.
My girlfriend, "June," and I broke up recently. June was the most wonderful woman I had ever met, and I loved her very much, but I took her for granted.
We were together for two years. We'd had trouble in the past about my lack of commitment, but after each argument, I promised I would change. I tried to improve, but each time I lapsed into the same selfish behavior. Finally, she had enough and ended the relationship.
Abby, if any of your readers recognize this pattern, I would urge them to pay less attention to themselves and more to their partners. Buy her flowers, take her out, tell her when you're going to be running late. Surprise her, tell her how important she is to you, write her sweet notes. Tell her you love her. Do it now, and do it often -- otherwise, it may be too late. -- LOST MY LOVE IN GEORGIA
DEAR LOST: Perhaps it isn't too late after all. Clip this letter and take it to June with two dozen roses. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she's capable of forgiveness one more time.
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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