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by Abigail Van Buren

Old Flame Is Flickering About Rekindling Romance

DEAR ABBY: I have been in contact with my high school sweetheart for almost a year. We are both 32, and it has been 14 years since we've seen each other. My best friend looked him up for me and he begged her to send me his e-mail address. We are both engaged to other people.

His girlfriend is 10 years younger than we are, but we are still in love and find each other very attractive.

At first, he wanted to see me very badly. But when the date for our meeting approached, he seemed to forget about it. However, he continues to write, and gives me subtle messages that he may still love me.

About three weeks ago he brought up meeting again and began calling. He said he had done enough damage to our relationship and he was serious about getting together this time, but when I asked him to make real plans and set a date, he ignored me. He just sent jokes and letters about what's going on with his ex-wife.

What can I do to make him go through with his plans this time? I think he's scared or just a jerk. Frankly, I'm getting fed up. Should I just stop writing? -- OUT OF PATIENCE, SANGER, TEXAS

DEAR OUT: If your former high school sweetheart were interested in anything more than e-mails, you would have seen him by now. It's time to log off the Internet and concentrate on your flesh-and-blood fiance -- because if he gets wind of this flirtation, he'll feel very betrayed. And he'll be right!

DEAR ABBY: After reading the letters about obscene phone calls, I thought you might be interested in the one I received the summer of my surgery. When I answered the phone I heard heavy breathing. Then someone with a deep voice said, "I've been watching ... I've been watching you getting undressed every night."

I started to laugh because I knew it couldn't be true. I was in a body cast from underarms to hips -- and confined to bed for four months! The caller then asked, "What's so funny?"

I said: "You'd better get glasses; I'm in a body cast."

There was no comment after that, just silence on the other end of the phone. That was the end of my one and only obscene call. -- STILL AMUSED IN CANADA

DEAR STILL AMUSED: Although few people would welcome a call from a self-identified Peeping Tom, you appear to have handled yours quite well. Thank heaven for caller ID, the feature that makes it difficult for obscene callers to get through without exposing themselves, and for call-blocking, which cuts them off entirely.

DEAR ABBY: Some friends of ours had a good solution for the folks who had "Mr. Uninvited" show up unexpectedly for dinner. They had a problem with a couple who regularly arrived just in time for dinner.

After dinner was over, they calmly put their plates down on the floor and let the dogs lick them completely clean. Then, as if it were the most natural thing in the world, they picked up the plates and put them away in the cupboard! The uninvited guests never showed up around dinner time again.

Cleanliness is next to dogliness. -- ELIOT FROM PORTLAND

DEAR ELIOT: Cleanliness may be next to dogliness, but I'm praying that yours was a shaggy dog story. If it's not, there's no telling what you've unleashed.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, 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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