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Traveling in RV Offers No Recreation for Wife

DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago, my husband decided that we would purchase a motor home and travel.

Biggest mistake I ever made. He refuses to look at a map. I am supposed to give the exact directions to all places, and if I get us lost, he goes totally berserk. We spend our nights in dirty truck stops; we do not "see the sights" because he passes everything by. I am supposed to do all the cooking, cleaning, etc. And to top it off, I get to do the laundry in the seediest Laundromats -- with no help from him.

We spend two or three months a year cooped up in this tiny space while he watches TV (his channels). I have no place to carry a few hobby-type things to keep me from getting bored. Most of the time he's in a rotten mood, and I can't get away.

Ladies, please think twice before your better half talks you into an RV. I would love to stay home, but he's so unreasonable, he won't hear of it. I try to tell him my feelings, but he doesn't want to hear them. How do I handle this situation? I simply hate this lifestyle. It is not fun. It is claustrophobic and inconvenient. -- RV PRISONER IN LAS VEGAS

DEAR PRISONER: It's time to parole yourself. You have tolerated this situation far longer than most women would have. RVing is not for everyone. Turn up the volume and inform your jailer that you've served your time. Either he immediately begins pulling his fair share of the "housekeeping" chores and sharing the remote control, or you're on the next plane home. Then do it.

DEAR ABBY: I just finished reading the letter from "Fuming in Ridgefield, N.J.," who was upset because she didn't receive a thank-you letter from her friend's daughter after sending a wedding gift.

A few months following my wedding, a friend of mine was married and I sent a gift. During the time that her thank-you notes would have been written, I moved to another address. Although I had my mail forwarded, I know of several pieces I did not receive. Because I didn't receive a thank-you note from my friend, I assumed it was lost in the mail, and I have never mentioned it to her. While I agree that it is unacceptable not to send a thank-you for a gift, I thought this might shed some light on why some people may not receive one. -- THANKFUL IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR THANKFUL: If an acknowledgment of a gift is not forthcoming, the giver should diplomatically ask if the gift was received. Let me share a story with you:

One day I was talking with the late David Orgell, a brilliant retailer in Beverly Hills, whose store was patronized by celebrities and other wealthy folk. What he told me was an eye-opener. He said that finding delivery people he could trust was an ongoing problem, because packages were sometimes stolen by store couriers. He said florists and other retailers experience the same frustrating problem. He was emphatic that if acknowledgment of a gift is not received, the sender should follow up by asking if the package ever arrived. He also suggested that when instructing a store to deliver a gift, proof of delivery should be requested -- meaning that someone must sign for it.

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.)

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