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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Please help me solve this problem. I gave my son and his wife, "Janet," my sterling silver flatware set. A short time later, they divorced. It was my son's fault that the marriage broke up.

Janet received the silver in the divorce settlement. She is now engaged to a nice man, and I wish them the best.

I wrote Janet a letter asking her to please give the silverware to her daughter, my granddaughter, as I would like to keep it in the family. Now she is angry and will not speak to me or return my calls. She lives in New Jersey and I live in Arizona.

Was I wrong to ask her to give the set to my granddaughter? -- ALICE IN PHOENIX

DEAR ALICE: No. However, Janet is probably still bitter over the breakup of the marriage and doesn't want you or your son dictating terms to her.

Write her another note and offer your apologies if she was offended -- as that certainly was not your intention. Then keep your fingers crossed because chances are Janet intends to give it to your granddaughter anyway in due time.

DEAR ABBY: My friend recently phoned to tell me she was writing thank-you notes to all the people who helped her and her three young children after they were in a serious auto accident with an 18-wheeler.

Among those she was thanking was a Tennessee highway patrolman who had given her a traffic ticket the month before because she didn't have her children buckled up.

Every one of them received major injuries even though they were wearing seat belts, but they survived the accident. My friend feels that the highway patrolman probably saved their lives by giving her a wake-up call.

Please keep reminding people to use their seat belts. -- PAULINE MILLER, ATHENS, TENN.

DEAR PAULINE: Your letter provides the perfect opportunity for me to do just that. Consider it done!

DEAR ABBY: Thank you for reassuring "Lost in North Carolina" and others infected with genital herpes that it is an extremely common infection, and one that can be managed. We especially appreciate your telling readers about the Herpes Resource Center.

In response to your column, we have heard from more than 2,000 people thus far who need our help. From past experience, we know that "Dear Abby" readers will continue to contact us over the next few months -- often telling us that they did not know where to turn until they saw the information in your column.

Your support for people with chronic sexually transmitted diseases is very important. Thank you again. -- LINDA L. ALEXANDER, PH.D, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN SOCIAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION

DEAR LINDA: You're welcome; that's what I'm here for.

For readers who may have missed the column and need to learn more about sexually transmitted diseases, or who may be seeking help, I'm repeating the address: Herpes Resource Center, American Social Health Association, Dept. PR85, P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27709. Please enclose $1 to cover postage and handling.

For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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