Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

In One Bedroom Apartment, Any Company Is a Crowd

DEAR ABBY: I am a single, 40-year-old woman who has recently moved to California. I am looking forward to family and friends coming to visit me, but I live in a one-bedroom apartment.

As I see it, I'm one person, and a couple is two, so I should sleep on the sofa. However, I spent two years as a student on a very tight budget sleeping on a futon in a tiny studio apartment -– and I'm fed up to here with sleeping anywhere other than in a bed.

I want my guests to be comfortable and feel welcome, but how should I handle the sleeping arrangements? -- CAREN IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR CAREN: You need not give up your own bed, and I'm sure your guests wouldn't expect you to.

You have several options. You could make reservations for your guests in a nearby hotel or motel. You could buy a sofa-sleeper (hide-a-bed). Or, you could rent a foldaway bed for the duration of the visits. Sweet dreams, Caren!

DEAR ABBY: The recent letter in your column from the teen-ager who tried "ruffies" prompts this letter.

Calling Rohypnol a "date rape" drug might lead males into believing that this dangerous drug does not apply to them. A more apt name for it might be an "amnesia" drug, because that is what the drug does to anyone.

My pal, Charles, dined alone one evening in a restaurant while on vacation in Mexico. Evidently, someone doctored his drink, because he ended up on the side of a road several miles away. All his personal belongings were missing –- including his belt and shoes. Luckily, he survived with only bruises and cuts, but he suffered a complete memory loss of more than 10 hours.

Abby, please warn your readers this drug has that effect on everyone, and they could be in extreme danger while under its influence. -- J.L. IN S.F.

DEAR J.L.: Thank you for pointing this out. I'm printing your letter as a word of caution to people who travel. You can't be too careful these days.

DEAR ABBY: My mother did a poor job of raising my brother and me. Now, at 32, I have a duty-based relationship with her. I have three children under 4, and I want to have a much better relationship with them. From my mother's example, I know what not to do; however, I don't have the role model to show me the right things to do. I have read parenting books, but there are so many different viewpoints that I don't know which would work for me.

I know there are many wonderful mothers out there, and I want to be one of them. What do great moms do that makes them great? I'd love to hear how women have excelled in this most important of jobs. -- MOM IN DENVER

DEAR MOM: Motherhood is two parts instinct to one part "book learning." Your instinctive desire to have a good relationship with your children will guide you in most situations. Look around you for women you consider to be good mothers and question them. Their experience is worth volumes, and they are usually happy to share their wisdom. That's part of what makes them good mothers.

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.

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