DEAR ABBY: You have printed some "You know you are getting older when" letters recently. I recall that you had a piece or two in your column on the same topic some years ago, and that they were very amusing. How about printing them again? -- JOSEPHINE MULLIGAN FROM MONTANA
DEAR JOSEPHINE: What a memory! Yes, that topic appeared in the column 10 years ago. Read on:
YOU KNOW YOU'RE GETTING OLDER WHEN ...
-- You know all the answers but nobody asks you any questions.
-- You get winded playing checkers.
-- You need a fire permit to light all of your birthday candles and you need oxygen after blowing them out.
-- You order Geritol on the rocks.
-- You sink your teeth into a thick steak and they stay there.
-- You stop to think and sometimes forget to start again.
-- You don't need an alarm clock to get up with the chickens.
-- Your pacemaker opens the garage door whenever a cute gal goes by.
-- The only whistles you get are from a tea kettle.
-- A fortune-teller wants to read your face.
-- You finally get it all together, but can't remember where you put it.
-- You pray for a good prune-juice harvest.
Fortunately, today's seniors are more fit and youthful than ever before, so these may no longer be true. Read on:
-- Everything hurts. And what doesn't hurt, doesn't work.
-- You feel like the morning after, and you haven't been anywhere.
-- Your little black book contains only names ending with M.D.
-- You look forward to a dull evening.
-- You join a health club and never go.
-- You need your glasses to find your glasses.
-- You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going. -- Your knees buckle, but your belt won't.
-- You have too much room in the house, and not enough in the medicine chest.
-- YOU WONDER WHY MORE PEOPLE DON'T USE THIS SIZE PRINT.
DEAR ABBY: I get a kick out of the items you occasionally print about how you can tell when you're getting old. I think this is a good one: You know you're getting old when you bend down to pick something off the floor, and before you straighten up you ask yourself, "Is there anything else I can do while I'm down here?" -- LESS LIMBER IN FALLBROOK, CALIF.
DEAR LESS LIMBER: Thanks for the chuckle. People over 40 will identify with it -- once they straighten up.
DEAR ABBY: Your entertaining messages about "You know you're getting older when ..." remind me of one that recently brought me to a sudden reality: You know you're getting older when you introduce your son to someone as, "My son, the grandfather!" -- CHARLES J. COOK, MIDLOTHIAN, VA.
DEAR CHARLES: That's great, Great-grandfather! Congratulations on the new arrival.
DEAR ABBY: I got married six months ago and am now getting an annulment. I never got around to sending thank-you cards. What is the appropriate thing to do with the wedding gifts? -- FREE AGAIN IN BEVERLY HILLS
DEAR FREE AGAIN: Without going into detail, write each gift giver and explain that your marriage is being annulled and thank him or her for the lovely gift. If the gift is unused, offer to return it.
P.S.: I hope your next relationship is everything this one was not.
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.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600