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by Abigail Van Buren

Driver Resents Chauffeuring Widows Who Need a Lift

DEAR ABBY: Never did I think I'd be writing to you, but for the past few years I have been plagued by widows who cannot drive. However, most are not shy when it comes to expecting neighbors to drive them to church, to shop, to the doctor or the dentist, to senior affairs, etc.

What in the world were these women -- and their husbands -- thinking in years past? It's a well-known fact that women usually outlive their husbands. Did they think a chauffeur would automatically appear when the husband died? Or were the husbands stubborn male chauvinists who refused to accept the fact that they might go first?

I loved your item re: Who would a man rescue if both his mother and his wife were going over the falls and he could rescue only one? You humorously wrote, "... it's so important for women to know how to paddle their own canoes." Amen! Healthy ladies: LEARN TO DRIVE!

Thankfully, the new generation has all girls and women learning to drive early. Those no-drive widows are such a pain. -- WIDOW-DRIVER IN ILLINOIS

DEAR WIDOW-DRIVER: I have another saying for you: "You don't have to run to the fire every time you hear a siren." Perhaps your pain would be less if you made yourself less available. I'm sure those nondriving widows would try harder to arrange other transportation if they could hear what you're saying under your breath!

Another thing to consider: Not all older widows are good candidates for learning how to drive.

DEAR ABBY: With regard to the letter from "Bound and Boiling," I just want to reassure the three young women who spent the night bound and gagged in the fast-food restaurant that, as a political scientist who has studied crime and violence for more than two decades, I am firmly convinced that they did the right thing in not resisting.

The risks involved in resisting an armed robbery far outweigh those of not resisting.

As the old military axiom goes, "Great courage is required to take a seemingly unheroic action." -- ERNEST H. EVANS, LEAVENWORTH, KAN.

DEAR ERNEST: I agree. It takes presence of mind to remain calm in an emergency, and to weigh whether heroism is prudent.

DEAR READERS: This wonderful poem, written as the closing remarks for a friend's speech on Memorial Day at a veterans cemetery, was sent to me by the author's wife, Marie C. Middleton. I think it is fitting to print it to honor Veterans Day. Read on:

A SOLDIER'S PRAYER

by Maj. Gen. James B. Middleton

Lord, bless the wives

who grieve alone,

And comfort the mothers

who mourn their own.

Give solace to the fathers

who lost their sons

On foreign shores and in

places unknown.

Lord, strengthen the resolve

of we who remain

To see that they did not

die in vain.

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