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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend, "Hoyt," for just under two years. I am 17 and he is 19. We have a wonderful relationship. We laugh, cry, fight, and every day seem to grow together as a couple. We love each other very much and want to be together for the rest of our lives. But there's a problem:

We are at a point where we need to focus on our futures. Ideally for me, I'd spend four years at an East Coast art school. Hoyt needs to stay on the West Coast and develop his musical career. We want to be together, but we also know it's important for each of us to develop our talents to the fullest.

Hoyt wants me to go to art school, and I want him to be the professional musician he dreams of being. However, the thought of being 3,000 miles away from each other for four years scares and depresses us both.

Abby, do you think it is possible for us to follow our dreams without losing the love we have for each other? -- FOUND TRUE LOVE IN OREGON

DEAR FOUND TRUE LOVE: I certainly do. With your level of maturity and concern for each other's futures, you can make a long-distance romance work. You can communicate via e-mail, phone calls and letters, and see each other on vacations and holidays. Sharing how you are each progressing toward your dreams will draw you closer.

DEAR ABBY: My fiance's 13-year-old daughter, "Cameron," stays in our home one night a week and every other weekend. She has decided to hang in her bedroom a huge framed picture of her parents taken on their wedding day. (Her mother has since remarried.)

I suggested to my fiance that perhaps Cameron could put the picture up in her room at her mother's, since seeing it every day is annoying for me.

My fiance says I am out of line even to suggest such a thing -- that it's Cameron's bedroom, and what's the big deal, anyway?

No doubt her mother wouldn't allow it being displayed in her home, as it would be disrespectful to her current husband. Well, I don't want it up in our home, because I consider it disrespectful to me.

Am I out of line, Abby? Please help settle this. -- TICKED OFF IN SPRINGFIELD, MASS.

DEAR TICKED-OFF: I agree with your fiance. Cameron's bedroom is her private refuge, and as long as it's kept clean, it should be the way she wants it. And that includes the picture of both of her parents taken in happier days. I urge you to rethink your stance on this, and to develop a more loving and tolerant relationship with your fiance's daughter.

DEAR ABBY: I am an older bachelor who recently moved into a new home. I invited my neighbors -- a young married couple -- over for a home-cooked meal. They brought with them a lovely bottle of wine.

I plan my dinners down to the last detail -- including selecting just the right wine to go with the meal. To make a long story short, I did not serve the wine my guests brought for our dinner.

After thanking me for a wonderful meal and a delightful evening, they took the bottle of wine they had given me and went home! I didn't say anything, but am I wrong to be appalled by their rude behavior? -- MR. NICE GUY IN TULSA

DEAR MR. NICE GUY: Give your neighbors the benefit of the doubt. Although you were under no obligation to serve their wine with the meal you carefully planned, they are a young couple and may have thought you didn't like their selection.

Yes, they should have left the bottle as a house gift -- but please don't let that ruin a budding friendship.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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