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by Abigail Van Buren

Nice Guys Go Unnoticed by Women Harping on Men

DEAR ABBY: Recently you published several letters from women who harped on the worthlessness of men. Occasionally the women mentioned moments of loneliness, but on the whole considered themselves to be better off without their husband -- or any man, for that matter. The general message seemed to be that men are, for the most part, worthless and cause only trouble.

Male-bashing has become so common, most people accept it as normal. However, I am bothered by it. This may in part be because I am male, but it is more than that.

Recently, at an after-work get-together, a group of women huddled in the kitchen and complained, "There aren't any good men out there." There were several good ones at that very gathering -- at least a dozen -- all single with graduate degrees, decent jobs and a bright future. I knew several of them, and know they treat women with respect. Not that any of the women clustered in the kitchen would have given these men the time of day.

A friend told me that men who treat women with respect have many women friends, but no dates. I fear she is right. I see many "nice guys" passed by in favor of losers who are nothing but trouble. So the nice guys remain single and the women end up miserable and, sometimes, hating all men. It's really sad.

I'd like to think that decent men and women do find each other, but for those in the post-college age bracket, I cannot say that I see it happen very often. However, I am convinced that "looking" is near the heart of the problem. Perhaps we would do better LISTENING. Our eyes have not served us well in the realm of romance. We don't seem to be able to "see" with our hearts very well. -- NO LONGER LOOKING IN UPSTATE NEW YORK

DEAR NO LONGER LOOKING: If you were a woman writing with this problem, rather than saying that good men get passed by, you would be stating that all men want women who appear physically perfect. This situation is as old as the battle of the sexes. Please do not despair. Decent women still want decent men, and vice versa. It will be a banner day when these stereotypes die a natural death.

DEAR ABBY: I enjoyed the story you printed about the Easter egg hunt where the children were so generous to the girl who was blind. For the past three years, I have been privileged to participate in an Easter egg hunt for blind children sponsored by the Blind Babies Foundation in Fresno. It's called a "beeper egg hunt," because the plastic eggs have small beepers in them to guide the children.

Many times the children receive assistance from sighted companions, but the children locate the eggs by sound.

Sighted children help prepare for this special egg hunt by painting large plywood eggs and gluing pictures of the children with sight impairment to pictures of the Easter Bunny. These souvenirs are presented to the parents of the special students.

During the preparation for the hunt, sighted students are introduced to some of the problems those without sight face, and they react very sympathetically. Therefore, this program benefits both those with sight and those without. -- DICK HERBOLDSHIMER, FRESNO, CALIF.

DEAR DICK: Beeper eggs -- what a great idea! I understand there are many kinds of beeper products to aid people without sight to participate in sports and other activities. Hooray for the technology that allows them to enjoy some of the things most of us take for granted.

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