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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I met a very attractive widower I'll call Bob a few weeks ago at an RV park for seniors. He lost his wife eight years ago. My husband died three years ago. Bob and I spent most of that week in each other's company during the day, and since we've returned home, we have had lunch together several times.

Last week, Bob revealed that he's had surgery and radiation treatment for prostate cancer. I also have been treated for cancer. We are both nearing the time we will be considered cured.

Abby, we are planning to vacation together this summer. I keep expecting him to mention something about his inability to perform sexually, but he hasn't. To tell you the truth, sex is not all that important to me. In fact, I would rather skip that part of a relationship.

Would I be out of line to let him know in advance that I am not expecting any skyrockets or Roman candles on our vacation? -- HESITATING

DEAR HESITATING: Perhaps Bob has said nothing about his inability to perform sexually because his sex life is not yet over. Although I advocate honesty in relationships, I think that letting him know you expect no rockets and Roman candles could be potentially embarrassing and presumptuous.

DEAR ABBY: I recently started a new job that I enjoy very much. Yesterday, however, I discovered I am working in an office with someone I never expected to meet. She is the wife of a man with whom I had a brief affair more than two years ago.

I saw "Bill" only a couple of times before I realized he was lying to me about being separated and in the process of a divorce. The second time we got together, I'm pretty sure it was at the home he shared with his wife, in their bed! He told me it was his mother's house. After I saw pictures of his two children on the dresser, I ended the relationship.

My problem is I am very uncomfortable in the presence of Bill's wife. She seems to be a very nice person, but I can't carry on a conversation with her the way I can with my other co-workers. I'm sure it is only a matter of time before Bill comes to visit his wife at work, and I can't imagine how to act when that happens. Please help. -- TRYING TO FORGET

DEAR TRYING: You were wise to end this no-win situation as quickly as you did. Now it is time to forget it. Your initial discomfort in the presence of Bill's wife will lessen over time. If Bill shows up, treat him as though you've never seen him before -- which is better than he deserves.

DEAR ABBY: I can understand "Growing Old in Florida's" distress with the persistent and none-too-sensitive food server. Of course, the server was only trying to be helpful, and not everyone who is entitled to a senior discount is comfortable asking for it. I know I wasn't, early in my "career" as a senior.

"Senior citizen" doesn't sound nearly as dreadful as OAP (Old Age Pensioner), the term they use in England. THAT can take the starch out of you!

Wouldn't it be better to educate salespeople, food servers, etc., to simply ask their patrons, "Are you eligible for any of the discounts we offer?" This shouldn't offend anyone, and those who deserve it will get their discounts without having to ask. -- LENORE MATHER, WAVERLY, N.Y.

DEAR LENORE: That's a tactful solution to a sometimes tricky situation, and I hope your letter is posted everywhere discounts are offered.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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