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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Measures Her Reaction to Daughter's Lost Virginity

DEAR ABBY: The woman I date (I'll call her Earlene) is 62 and owns her own home. She also has a truck that's fully paid for, CDs and an IRA. In other words, she's well-off.

For the last four years we have gone out to eat frequently because she lives alone and so do I. We eat out at least four days a week, breakfast and dinner. In all that time she has picked up the check only five times. Even when I pay, she never leaves a tip. She figures since I'm paying the bill, I should do it.

Earlene is from the old school -- that the man is supposed to do all the paying. I have talked to her about it. It goes in one ear and out the other. I don't believe this is fair, and it is straining our relationship because I'm not as well-off as she is.

What ever happened to equal rights for women and men? Please answer soon. This is an emergency. -- BUSTED BUDGET, ANDOVER, OHIO

DEAR B.B.: If you're asking about the Equal Rights Amendment -- it lost by a narrow margin. Even so, dating rules have changed greatly since your ladyfriend was a girl. It's time to tell the meal server, "Separate checks, please." If Earlene doesn't agree, maybe it's time to go your separate ways.