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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: A co-worker and I became very close. It began as a friendship and led to intimacy a few times. We are both married and do not want to destroy our families, so we decided to stop being intimate and to be only friends, as in the beginning.

The problem is, she seems to be distant, although not rude, and we have a conversation only when I initiate it. When I asked her if she was avoiding me, she said she's been very busy and doesn't have time to talk. I invited her to lunch a couple of times, and she always came up with some excuse not to go.

Abby, I really miss our friendship. Do you think it is possible for us to be friends again, or do you think our friendship is ruined? -- MISSING MY FRIEND

DEAR MISSING: Once friends have become sexually intimate, it is very difficult to ignore the underlying physical attraction and "just be friends."

While it is possible for you and your co-worker to be friends again, it will never be the same as before. You would be wise to accept it and not pressure her. She's doing the right thing, and I, for one, respect her for it.

DEAR ABBY: I howled when I read the letter you printed from the wife who asked her husband, "Honey, if your mother and I were in a canoe, and the canoe tipped over and we were both drowning, and you could save only one of us -- which one would you save?" She said she was devastated because her husband replied, "I'd save my mother because I owe her more."

I know if my daughter-in-law were to put that question to my son, he would reply, "Of course I would save you -- my mother can walk on water." How about that? -- BETTE IN SEAL BEACH, CALIF.

DEAR BETTE: You are a wit! It's a wise son who knows his own mother, and a diplomatic husband who knows when to throw a life preserver to his wife.

DEAR ABBY: After reading the letter about the generosity of the people in the Stardust restaurant, I thought our experience in northern Michigan was worthy of sharing with you.

About 10 years ago, my daughter and son-in-law were to fly from their new home in California to visit with us and his parents in Michigan's famous "north country." We were scheduled to meet them at 6:45 p.m., after they changed planes in Chicago.

As luck would have it, their connecting flight landed nearly two hours late. It was only a short drive to the Dam Site Inn, and we reached the restaurant just as the wait staff was departing, but prior to the doors being locked for the evening. After explaining our situation to the understanding owner-manager, we were treated to a wonderful meal. The owner and some of the staff stayed late just to serve our small party.

These restaurateurs have probably long forgotten their act of kindness, but I have not. I have retold the story many times. -- FRANK J. DREW, NORTHVILLE, MICH.

DEAR FRANK: The owner of the Dam Site Inn is a damn smart businessperson who understands that there are exceptions to every rule.

What could have been viewed as a pain in the neck turned out to be a public relations bonanza. Bravo!

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-size, 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, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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