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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR READERS: Most of the letters that appear in my column are filled with problems. This one will be different.

I hope you will indulge me this once as I brag about my daughter, Jeanne Phillips. She has worked by my side practically since the inception of this column. As a teen-ager, she earned her allowance by answering mail from other teens (under strict supervision, of course!).

During the majority of the years that followed, my daughter has worked by my side in one capacity or another. Over the course of the 12 years my nationally syndicated radio show aired on the CBS network, Jeanne co-wrote more than half of them.

After that she became my editor and, since 1987, has co-created the DEAR ABBY column with me.

With her talent, compassion and kind heart -– and the common sense I like to say she inherited from her father and me -– Jeanne has walked not in my footsteps, but side-by-side with me. I couldn't be more proud.

As a mother who has every confidence in her daughter, I feel it's time she receives the recognition she deserves as my co-creator.

And no, I'm not going anywhere. I will continue to work on this column until my Maker calls me home. People retire from work -– and work is the one thing I have never considered this column to be.

DEAR ABBY: Your answer to "Sick of Disrespect in Dallas" didn't go far enough. The proper way to handle verbal abuse or unacceptable behavior on an airplane is to immediately complain directly to the flight attendant before the situation escalates. If he or she fails to put the perpetrator in place, inform the attendant that you will file a complaint with the airline citing failure to handle a threatening situation.

No one should have to tolerate or witness profanity, drunken behavior, or any other form of abuse in the air, on land or at sea.

However, I agree that one should never directly confront someone who is out of control. -- LOOKING FOR FRIENDLIER SKIES

DEAR LOOKING: I'm pleased that you do. Although each airline has its own regulations for handling disruptive passengers, it is my understanding that most of them follow a similar scenario. If the flight attendant cannot "calm down" or stop inappropriate behavior, he or she will have the pilot come back and talk to the passenger. The pilot then informs the passenger that if he or she doesn't stop being disruptive, it will be necessary to land the plane at the nearest airport and the police will come on board and arrest the passenger.

DEAR ABBY: Would you please explain how women in high heels can walk with such elegance and grace, as though they are gliding when they walk? -- NOT VERY GRACEFUL IN PROVO, UTAH

DEAR NOT VERY GRACEFUL: It's not easy. Stand up straight, balance a book on your head, and practice, practice, practice.

To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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