Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Big Days Make Little Impact on Husband's Faulty Memory

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for four years, and we have a 2-year-old son. My marriage is happy except for one problem. I can't get my husband to remember important dates.

He has forgotten our anniversary and my birthday for the last three years. He never remembers Mother's Day. However, he always remembers our son's birthday and Father's Day.

Abby, my parents think this lapse of memory is terrible, but his parents don't remember special days either. Any suggestions? -- ROSELESS ROSIE

DEAR ROSIE: Men are notorious for forgetting days that are important to women. Your husband's disregard for your anniversary and birthday may stem from his parents' attitude about special days. Since he was not raised to remember them, he doesn't understand the importance you attach to these occasions.

Remind, remind, remind him. About two weeks before your birthday and your anniversary, remind him it's approaching. A week before the big day, remind him again. The day before, give him a note, and post one on the refrigerator or the bathroom mirror.

If your husband still fails you, buy yourself a gift, charge it to him, and tell him what you did.

Since your marriage is happy in every other way, consider yourself a lucky woman. His faults could be worse, so don't sweat the small stuff.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 37-year-old woman who works in a hospital linen room. One day I noticed a man on a ladder doing repairs. I was mesmerized in an instant by his smile. Every time I see him, I get butterflies.

I wrote him a note and asked a co-worker to deliver it. I got no response. I summoned my courage and handed him a second note myself. Still no response. Finally, I asked him directly if he had read it. His only comment was, "Nice penmanship."

Rumor has it that he's seeing someone. So why isn't he man enough to just tell me he is not interested? What can I do to get a response, either positive or negative? -- WAITING IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS

DEAR WAITING: You have already received a response. He isn't interested. Accept reality and leave the man alone.

DEAR ABBY: Once again you have allowed a reader to euphemistically refer to someone in her little melodrama as "Bill."

Do you have any idea how much trouble this has caused me over the years with your moronic readers who believe that all these "Bills" are in fact me? Even when I'm able to convince them that that "Bill" is not this Bill, my explanations are time-consuming and mentally taxing. And after just so long, my alibis are no longer believed by some of these imbeciles, and I end up not only having to apologize for the behavior of the phantom Bill, but to apologize as well for having initially denied it was me!

Abby, thinking up enough good lies about my own atrocious behavior is something I can barely keep up with as it is. Will you please stop adding to this burden? Why not use the name of my brother, "Bob," instead? He gets away with a lot. -- BILL B. IN MELBOURNE, FLA.

DEAR BILL B.: I'll make a deal with you. If you promise to stop calling my readers moronic and imbecilic, I'll refrain for one year from labeling any character in my column as "Bill." And if I break that promise, you can bill me!

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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