DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Dan" for 15 years. He was abandoned by his father when he and his brother were 2 and 3. His father had no contact with him for 30 years, and he has seen him only at one family reunion and two funerals in the last 15 years. This man has now asked to visit us, and my husband has agreed to his father's request to get together while he's in town.
This is all well and good for the two of them, but I have now been informed that my husband has a social function on the evening his father is expected. Dan told me that until he arrives, I am expected to entertain his father, but gave me no timetable for how long that will be.
I have always had very strong opinions about fathers who abandon their children, and my husband knows this. I don't feel I have an obligation to this man, although my husband says that as his wife, I do. What's worse is that my family agrees with Dan.
I feel that if my husband wants to get together with his father, fine. If my daughter wants to see him, fine. But should I be forced to entertain him for who knows how long until my husband chooses to show up? Am I wrong? -- FURIOUS IN SPANISH PORT, ALA.
DEAR FURIOUS: Yes, you are wrong. Obviously this is important to your husband, so for his sake, please try to be gracious. Entertain his father as you would a BUSINESS person who is important to your husband's future. You won't be sorry.
DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to the series of letters you printed about the man who suggested his wife visit the nude beaches while they were in Europe. Like the couple in question, my wife and I experienced the reaction, pain and steps that led to and followed a mastectomy. She was beautiful before AND after the surgery, but she had a hard time seeing it. We had visited and enjoyed nude beaches before she was diagnosed.
Months after the surgery we were invited to a party where use of the pool and hot tub would be clothing-optional. We went, and after 10 minutes in the hot tub with my wife in her bathing suit, one of our friends inquired about her surgery and recovery process. By the end of the evening, my wife was nude, and finally realized that she was loved and accepted as the wonderful woman she was; that her value was not in having or not having breasts.
When people become more accepting of their bodies, fewer women will believe they must look like some supermodel or hate their bodies. Then we can accept that who we are is not how we look, but is how we behave in our relationships with one another.
The wonderful woman who was my wife is no longer living; cancer took her life last September. She was buried nude, per her request. Sign me ... BONNY'S GUY, PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIF.
DEAR BONNY'S GUY: There is much wisdom in your message. Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved wife.
Coping with the emotional issue of self-image can be among the most challenging aspects of recovery from surgery following breast cancer. I hope your letter will reassure survivors that their fear a mastectomy will make them unattractive is largely unfounded.
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-size, 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, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600