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by Abigail Van Buren

Petite Blonde Worries That She's Selling Herself Short

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating the same guy for a little over a year. We get along well, laugh a lot, have the same outlook, similar goals. He says I'm his best friend.

My problem? I'm not his "type." I'm a petite blonde. He prefers chunkier women with dark hair. He says if there was one thing he could change about me, it would be for me to gain about 20 pounds. (I'm 5 feet tall and weigh 105.)

He has become "confused" a few times during the relationship, and the last time he said he needed to decide which was more important, someone he's connected with or someone who is his type. The sex is good but not earth-shattering, because my physical attributes don't do it for him. He doesn't want to rip off my clothes each time he sees me, and I thrive on that kind of lust.

He keeps coming back, and I feel like a jerk for allowing him to stay each time. I love him, but I'm unclear whether I'm selling myself short and if I deserve someone who loves me the way I am. I'm afraid if he stays with me, eventually he will want his type and leave. He's 37; I'm 33. What should I do? -- BETWIXT AND BETWEEN IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR B AND B: Loving him isn't enough. Not once in your letter did you indicate that he says HE loves YOU. You say he's critical of your appearance and strays when the spirit moves him. You are indeed selling yourself short. For a lifetime partner, you deserve better.

DEAR ABBY: Your "pennies from heaven" stories have been delightful. I have one that does not involve money, but the result was just as heartwarming.

The year was 1945. I was a member of General Patton's army, fighting our way across Europe. Infantry combat is pure hell, so when there was a rare lull in the fighting, an orchestra from our division band was brought in to cheer us up. In a wooded glade somewhere in France, they played all the favorites of the day, and we were reminded again of what we were fighting for.

A soldier with a clear, sweet voice began singing "Pennies From Heaven." However, it wasn't the familiar version. These satirical lyrics told the story of a GI coming home to his wife after serving overseas, and being met by his beloved holding a brand-new baby girl named "Penny."

The refrain of that song I'll never forget. "Every time he asked, she'd say, 'Penny's from heaven.'" There were many verses, and the soldier sang each one with a straight face. At another time under different circumstances, we probably would have found the song mildly amusing. That day it was the funniest song my buddies and I had ever heard. No money changed hands that day, but the laughter was a gift from God at a time when we had very little to laugh about. -- WALLACE HARMON, DALLAS

DEAR WALLACE: No amount of money could equal the enjoyment you fighting men got from the slightly naughty version of "Pennies From Heaven."

Laughter is a great unifier. People who laugh together become one, if only for a little while.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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