DEAR ABBY: I have a male friend who is a nonstop talker. He talks constantly during a meal and doesn't even stop when eating. He's so rude that he won't let a person finish a sentence. At meetings, people sitting near him get up and move away because of his talking and complaining. My friends refuse to come over if he's going to be there.
One man said he's the only person who can carry on a conversation with himself. His son and I have both told him he talks too much. He thinks his opinions are important, but they are boring.
Abby, he's a faithful and helpful person, and he wants to marry me. We are older people and men are scarce at this age. But I must avoid stress because of medical problems. Any suggestions? -- TALKED TO DEATH IN WASHINGTON
DEAR TALKED TO DEATH: A person who does all the talking is no less a hog than the person who comes to your table and eats all the food. Your friend is ignoring the fact that being a good listener is often more important than being a good talker.
Men may be scarce in your age bracket, but from your description he appears to be self-centered, insensitive to the feelings of those around him, and probably very insecure. If your physician has advised you to avoid stress because of medical problems, try to find a mate who will be more sensitive to the feelings of those around him.
DEAR ABBY: I have a sister I love very much, but I don't understand her. Although she is 35 years old, she still relies on her family to take care of her. And if we don't do it quickly enough, she gets an attitude and won't speak to us for weeks at a time.
Abby, her behavior is hurtful, especially to our father. Frankly, I'm tired of the situation. Please advise me how to handle this. -- SISTERLY TROUBLE
DEAR SISTERLY TROUBLE: You didn't mention whether your sister has emotional problems, or whether she's dependent simply because she can be. As long as she has you to shore her up, why should she tread water for herself? If there is no compelling reason why the family should bail her out, you are doing her a disservice by doing so.
By age 35, your sister should have taken responsibility for herself, so get the family to stand together and send her the message that she's on her own. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to let her drown -- but convince her she must try to save herself before she goes down for the third time.
DEAR ABBY: I have several married and divorced children. I have always helped them in any way I could by letting them keep their belongings, hobbies and junk in my home and even live here. It isn't as if they have no homes -- they do, and larger than mine.
I have been alone for a long time, so maybe they never think of my getting married again. I love my home, and I have found a person I would like to marry and share the rest of my life with. I have even thought of us renting a place somewhere, but maybe I would never get my home back. Would this be wise?
What is the best way for me to regain my home in full without hurting my children? I'm trying to be patient, but they don't seem to "get it." Please advise me how to resolve this in a caring and loving way. I need your help. -- CROWDED OUT IN SALT LAKE CITY
DEAR CROWDED OUT: Congratulations on having found a special someone to marry and share your life with. Now it's time to share the wonderful news with your children. And when you do -- tell them you're giving them one month to reclaim their belongings because you'll be living there with your new husband and need the space.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600