DEAR ABBY: I am a medical student near graduation. In my admittedly brief experience in the local hospitals, I have already seen the damage alcohol and drugs can wreak on a life and the many relationships it poisons. Too often it takes a dramatic, life-threatening and socially costly event to provide a patient "insight" into his problem.
In June 2000, I will receive my medical license. I wrote the following in the selfish hope that it will keep me from having to deliver this bitter news, even for just one night. The words in quotes are my spoken words. The words in parentheses are what I'm really thinking. -- HEALER IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR HEALER: The short essay you have written is sobering and thought-provoking. I hope its message will reach those who need to heed it -- and remind them to set limits on the amount they imbibe. Read on:
"I realize you must be upset, Mrs. ____." (But you can only imagine how frustrated I am by this daily occurrence.)
"I am calling to inform you of your son's admission to the hospital." (Where we still haven't figured out why people do this to themselves.)
"As I understand it, the paramedics were called" (to a party where no one was sober enough to explain what happened) "and were required to administer CPR in order to revive your son's heart." (While his friends continued their drunken reveling, undisturbed.)
"He is currently on a machine to assist in his ventilation." (Because he drank so much he stopped breathing.)
"His brain suffered a significant period of anoxia." (And if he ever wakes up, he can never have his life back.)
"His condition is serious, but he is receiving expert care." (I wish I could tell you just how worried you should be!)
DEAR ABBY: I am a strict Catholic who does not believe in "kinky" activities. It was my second date with a seemingly conservative gentleman. Everything was going well, so I felt comfortable holding hands with him -- until he proceeded to stick my pointer-finger in his mouth. We had just come from dinner, so he couldn't possibly have been hungry!
What are your thoughts on this situation? -- SHOCKED IN PITTSBURGH
DEAR SHOCKED: It could have been worse. At least he wasn't a thumb-sucker.
Never do anything you're not comfortable doing. There are men out there who will respect you just the way you are. If he's not for you, fix him up with a nail-biter. They'll think they died and went to heaven.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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