DEAR ABBY: I have been criticized because "Dennis," my live-in boyfriend, is strict with my two children, who are 8 and 9.
They are supposed to straighten the quilts on their beds before leaving for school. The other day, they forgot. So Dennis tore their beds apart. He dumped everything on the floor so they would have to totally remake their beds. My mother says this is cruelty. What do you think? -- DIVORCED MOM IN ILLINOIS
DEAR DIVORCED MOM: I agree with your mother. It is your home. You should administer discipline to your children, not your current live-in boyfriend. If there's any more "dumping" to be done, consider dumping him to ensure there will be no more emotional abuse of your children.
DEAR ABBY: I recently got back together with my ex. We only broke up for a month. We had been dating for close to two years before the split. We're doing great now, but I'm starting to have some problems.
Whenever he wants to spend time with his friends, I freak out and start crying. I don't know why I do this. I know he needs some time with the guys, but I always seem to flip out over it. It's not like I think he's doing something he's not supposed to. I just want him around constantly, and it hurts my feelings when he takes off to be with the boys. I have always had a problem with this, and I don't know why. Other than that, we have a great relationship. Any ideas? -- NEEDY IN MILWAUKIE, ORE.
DEAR NEEDY: Your boyfriend must care for you very much to tolerate your clinginess and crying jags as well as he has. Whatever the cause, you could benefit greatly from counseling to get to the root of them. I urge you to resolve this, because if you don't, your insecurity and neediness will drive your boyfriend –- and any other man who replaces him –- away.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been invited to a formal, "white-tie" reception and sit-down dinner. I have finally found the perfect gown. I'm planning on wearing long, white gloves that I've had for many years, but never had occasion to wear.
What I'm unsure about is what to do with my gloves once I get there. Can I wear jewelry over my gloves? Should they be removed for dinner? Shall I leave them off for dancing? I'm looking forward to being dressed to the nines, but don't want to overdo it. Help! -- ALL DRESSED UP IN WILMINGTON, DEL.
DEAR ALL DRESSED UP: A woman can wear a bracelet over long gloves, but rings should never be worn over gloved fingers. My fashion experts agree that gloves should be removed before sitting down at the dinner table. They can be put back on for dancing afterward.
One more tip: If a woman wearing gloves is part of a receiving line, it's proper for her to keep them on. However, any guest going down the line should have an ungloved hand to offer.
Here's hoping your formal affair is a night to remember!
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
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