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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have a 21-year-old daughter who has three semesters left in college and a well-paying, part-time co-op job. She still lives at home with us. All that we ask of her is that she come home at night, take turns with her sisters doing the dishes and one chore a week.

My husband works 45-plus hours a week at his job and 15-plus hours a week on our small business. I am disabled and unable to do much around the house. My daughter doesn't always come home at night, and while she has time to sleep until 2 p.m. on weekends and time for her boyfriend, she does not make time to do her chores.

I do not want to kick her out and possibly jeopardize her college education, but she's too old to ground. I'm thinking of having her pay $100 a month for rent (this would be no hardship for her), as it seems she uses our home like a hotel and disregards our wishes. Your thoughts, please. -- OUT OF OPTIONS

DEAR OUT OF OPTIONS: I see nothing wrong with the idea. Since your daughter feels she's old enough to disregard the rules of the house, and giving you $100 a month would not be a financial hardship, that's what she should do.

DEAR ABBY: Friends of ours -- not too close, not too distant -- have a son who is being married for the second time. The wedding will be held 3,000 miles from where we live.

I have just found out that we will be receiving an invitation anyway, because we lived there 30 years ago. They know that we would not fly out for the wedding.

When this man was married the first time, we gave them a nice wedding gift. We also sent one when he graduated from high school and from college.

Must I send them a gift when the invitation arrives? I think these folks are just out for the gifts. My husband said he plans to throw the invitation in the trash as soon as he sees it. Please advise. -- AT A LOSS IN RICHMOND, VA.

DEAR AT A LOSS: Guests who are unable to attend a wedding need not send a gift. When the invitation arrives, send your regrets and a warm note congratulating the couple and wishing them every happiness. Period.

DEAR ABBY: I feel that I must respond to the 31-year-old woman whose "live-in" wants to be married secretly. I know the results of what has ensued in a similar situation.

The man had been married before and had a daughter. Although he had been separated from his wife for many years, they had never been divorced. The latter "wife" only discovered this when the man became seriously ill and his daughter was contacted.

You once printed something that I have never forgotten: "O what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." -- A GRATEFUL READER WHOM YOU ONCE HELPED

DEAR GRATEFUL READER: I agree that the proposal of a secret marriage should not only raise a few eyebrows, but some suspicions as well. And I cannot take credit for that quote. It came from Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) -- and it's certainly appropriate.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, 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, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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