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by Abigail Van Buren

Return of Anniversary Gift Still Rankles Widower

DEAR ABBY: I have carried this resentment for two years and would like to ask you if I am right or wrong to feel hurt and angry.

On Thanksgiving 1996, which was our 53rd anniversary, my wife and I invited our children and grandchildren and a few close friends to our home for dinner. We received many nice gifts from all.

Abby, the following day my wife passed away. It was completely unexpected. Thank goodness all my family was here.

One couple, whom my wife and I had known for many years, immediately asked me to return their gift. I was shocked, but of course I complied. My children were angry at me for giving in to their request.

Was I wrong to return their gift? Please don't identify me, as the couple lives nearby. -- STILL HURTING IN GEORGIA

DEAR STILL HURTING: No, you were not wrong to have returned the gift, but I think it was wrong of them to have asked you to do so.

DEAR ABBY: I participate in a support group for families of teens in residential treatment. Many of our teens are making new choices. Among them is the choice of chastity until marriage, even though they may have had sex prior to the program. These teens are glowing and radiant in their newfound personal power. We are helping them learn how to heal families and meet new challenges in their lives.

One question has us stumped: If a young woman had sex as a teen, then chooses chastity until marriage, can she stil wear white at her wedding? -- ANONYMOUS, PLEASE

DEAR ANONYMOUS: Yes, indeed. A white wedding gown signifies a first-time bride, not chastity. And these days, the old "rules" have been relaxed so that a bride may wear whatever color she chooses, whether it's her first, second or subsequent marriage.

DEAR ABBY: We never laughed so hard as we did at the column about "Run, turkey, run!"

It reminded me of the time we were staying in a motel and listening to the sound of "birds" in the next room. We were ready to call the desk when they all settled down.

The next morning we read in the paper that the National Turkey-Calling Contest was in town that weekend! -- NANCY BECK, MESA, ARIZ.

DEAR ABBY: Where in the "Book of Love" does it state that one partner in a relationship must embrace ALL of the interests of the other? If "Gwen" doesn't like hunting wild turkeys, her fiance should hunt the gobblers with his buddies who do. Given Gwen's culinary abilities, she may derive far greater pleasure from roasting the bird than killing it.

"Turkeyless" states that Gwen is good-looking and can cook. Now there's an unbeatable combination that should form the foundation for lasting marital happiness.

All in all, this guy has apparently sprung from the shallow end of the gene pool. My advice to Gwen? Dump this turkey! -- BILL IN OLYMPIA, WASH.

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.)

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