DEAR ABBY: I am in my 50s and have been a widow for several years. Two years ago, I met a man at church (I'll call him Bob) with whom I fell in love. We were very close and enjoyed each other's company. After almost two years, Bob called it quits, saying the relationship wasn't going anywhere. He wanted marriage, but I was in no hurry. I was financially set after my husband's death, and I liked the freedom that came from not being married.
After the breakup, my friends and relatives came out of the woodwork. One of them knew him professionally and said he had a very poor reputation in the community and was not respected by his peers. She also said he was known to date only women with money. It seems everyone in the family knew this except me. I asked why no one had said anything before, and they said they thought I wouldn't believe them because I seemed so in love. However, they also said that if Bob and I had announced marriage plans, they would have stepped in.
I have mixed feelings about their knowing all this and discussing it behind my back, but I'm thankful they were ready to jump in to keep me from making a mistake.
I just want your readers to know that if they find themselves in a situation similar to mine, they should listen with an open mind to people who love them. It could save them from making a terrible mistake. -- LUCKY TO BE SO LOVED
DEAR LUCKY: Your friends and relatives managed the situation wisely. They were ready to unfurl the safety net if need be, but unless and until you were about to make a serious mistake, they didn't interfere. You are fortunate, indeed, to be so loved.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to the man in Fort Lauderdale who sweeps his hair over his bald spot and embarrasses his wife with his foot-long "flag" of hair streaming in the breeze when they go boating.
I can't believe your answer about consulting a hair stylist or visiting a specialist about a hair transplant operation or getting a hairpiece.
Did it occur to either of you that the simple solution is to buy him a sporty yachting cap -- you know the kind, with the gold braid? It will work. Trust me. -- ROBERT DOYLE, LAS VEGAS, NEV.
DEAR ROBERT: Hats off to you -- and to other readers who suggested that the writer simply buy her husband a hat. However, the wife was not complaining only about her husband's hair on the boat. She was complaining because he insisted on living in a state of denial. Wearing a hat is a temporary solution at best because hats are not acceptable in all situations. Facing the problem head on and dealing with it is a better solution.
DEAR ABBY: I heard a good one recently that I thought you might like to pass along in the name of good clean fun:
A 6-year-old visited a retirement home with her Brownie troop and was recounting her adventure to her mother. "I saw a 103-year-old man with a cat, and a woman who was 104!" said the child. "I even talked to a woman who was 108!" Amazed, the mother asked her how she knew their ages. Her daughter replied, in a tone that made it clear the answer should have been obvious even to an adult, "Mommy, it was written on their doors." -- JACK THE JOKER
DEAR JACK: Thanks for the laugh. One nice thing about telling a clean joke is there's a good chance no one's heard it before!
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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