DEAR ABBY: As a teen-ager, for kicks I would randomly call women at night and ask to speak to their husbands. If the wife said he wasn't there, I would pretend to be the husband's lover, saying he was supposed to have told her about me.
Most of the time it didn't work, but one young woman believed me. She began crying and said, "We've been married for only one year; now I know why he tells me he has to work late."
I hung up without confessing that it was a stunt, immediately regretting what I had done, but I couldn't call back to make amends because I didn't remember which number I had called.
Abby, the damage I may have caused haunts me to this day. I sincerely wish I could take back what I did. -- REGRETTING PAST MISTAKES
DEAR REGRETTING: Since there is nothing you can do to change the past, perhaps you can ease your conscience by doing a good deed. I have a suggestion: Volunteer to mentor a teen-age girl who could benefit from the friendship of a caring, mature adult. There are many out there who need it.
DEAR ABBY: Please help me settle this argument. My husband, who thinks he knows everything, keeps insisting that the forks and spoons should be placed in the basket of the dishwasher with the sharpest point of the utensils facing upward. I say that the utensils should be facing down, so that when they are removed from the dishwasher they can be grabbed by the handles. Will you please settle this? -- FRUSTRATED IN DENVER
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your husband is wrong. The utensils should be loaded into the dishwasher with the points facing down, which prevents them from poking or cutting the person who is unloading the machine. It also keeps the eating surfaces cleaner if they're grasped by the handles.
P.S. If this is all you and your husband disagree on, I would say you have a marvelous marriage.
DEAR ABBY: I enjoyed the letter in your column from "Waiting With Baited Hook in Nevada."
As a divorced, 45-year-old, overweight woman with three teen-agers, I had attended church-sponsored activities for years, including dances. None of the men were interested in me.
When I started taking my 14-year-old son to a one-eighth-scale, live steam-engine train park last summer, I began to volunteer my time. The outdoor setting was beautiful, the people were friendly, and it was surprisingly fun. It didn't take long for a divorced man to strike up a conversation, and within six months we were married!
I found out by happenstance that what you suggested works: Look where men spend their free time, and enjoy the same wholesome activities. -- LUCKY IN OREGON
DEAR LUCKY: I'm delighted to hear about your happy outcome. Sometimes we make our own "luck" -- and I think you "engineered" yours beautifully.
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