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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My brother-in-law is a restaurant owner. The atmosphere is casual and slightly sports-oriented, so many of his patrons take their young children to dine. The majority of the time, this is not a problem. However, some adults take children who do not want to be there. They yell and scream and run around the restaurant unattended. It's very disruptive for other patrons.

The staff takes juice, crackers, crayons and coloring books to entertain the children while the adults converse, yet the children continue to be disruptive, and the adults at the table make no effort to address the situation.

On occasion, my brother-in-law has had to ask the adults to do something about the children's behavior and has been met with some very rude responses from the patrons. He needs some additional input about what to do. We'd appreciate any suggestions as to how adults should handle situations where children are misbehaving in a restaurant. -- ROCHELLE IN PHOENIX

DEAR ROCHELLE: The disruptive behavior you describe is not the fault of the children; the parents are responsible for their children's behavior. If the youngsters create a nuisance for other diners, their parents should be asked to give them a "time-out" -- in other words, remove them from the premises until they settle down.

DEAR ABBY: I must disagree with your readers who responded to the mother who wanted her daughter to marry a man of means. I also believe the mother knows her daughter better than they possibly could. For most, giving up one's standard of living would send the "thrill" of married life out the window very soon.

Love does NOT conquer all! No, I am not a snob; I am an 81-year-old "always been poor" lady. I have seen what loss of material things can do to anyone who is not accustomed to doing without. Remember, Abby, men who lost their fortunes committed suicide by jumping out of tall buildings in 1929-1930. People are like that.

Oh, no, a disillusioned wife won't jump out of a window, but she might seriously consider fleeing the coop. A 19-year-old girl has plenty of time to meet young people and evaluate acquaintances before deciding on a life partner. -- A CARING PERSON, DANVILLE, ILL.

DEAR CARING PERSON: Thank you for your letter of support. Although you and I agree, the majority of those who wrote to me felt that the mother was selling her daughter short, the young man showed great promise, and the daughter should follow her heart.

DEAR ABBY: I am a woman who would like to be more confident and less fearful about asking a guy out. Deep down I believe that the guy should be the one to do the asking. I also have a fear of rejection.

There are several guys I'm interested in, but I can't muster the courage to ask them out. What should I do? -- WENDY

DEAR WENDY: Although your feelings are understandable, it is common and acceptable these days for a woman to ask a man out. In order to avoid rejection, drop some "hints" to see if there is any interest before popping the question. And remember: Practice makes perfect. After doing it a few times, you'll find it easier to approach men.

P.S. Between you and me, men also suffer fear of rejection at the prospect of asking a woman out. Now you can empathize.

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