DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced mother of two young children. My mother has always been a tremendous financial and emotional help to us, and I'm proud of our relationship. She's a terrific person, but a pushover when it comes to "Ray," her husband of two years. Mom believes whatever he says -- wherein lies my problem.
Ray has been coming on to me for the last year. I don't know how to tell my mother. It's tearing me up inside, and I can't live with it anymore. My little sister told Mom a year ago that our stepfather came on to her, but Mom didn't believe her. Ray said my sister was the one who made the advances. (She was only 14 at the time!) Mom stood by her husband, and to this day maintains his innocence.
In an effort to make sure my mother believes me, I audiotaped my stepfather on the phone begging me to have sex with him. Do you think I should tell Mom I have evidence and insist that she listen to the tape? I don't want to lose my mother. I love her very much, and my children and I wouldn't know what to do without her in our lives. Please help. -- DESPERATE TO BE BELIEVED IN NORTH DAKOTA
DEAR DESPERATE: Get your mother alone, sit her down, and say, "Mom, this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I have to play this tape for you because our family is being destroyed." Her reaction to the tape will tell you what her future is with your stepfather -- and with you.
DEAR ABBY: My youngest stepdaughter is being married in mid-June. Her father and I are hosting a catered reception following the ceremony. We did the same thing for his other two daughters.
We are requesting that guests RSVP two weeks before the big day. My fear is that people will do what they did for the other girls' weddings -- either fail to RSVP and then show up anyway, or RSVP that they're coming and then not attend.
The first time around, we planned for 100 and only 25 showed up -- causing wasted food and expense. For the next wedding, we planned only for the 40 who RSVP'd their acceptance -- and twice as many showed up! It was awful. Many guests didn't get to eat. How can we guarantee that people will RSVP and then follow through? My husband and I are already going to financial extremes to make this a memorable and happy event. -- STEPMOTHER OF THE BRIDE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
DEAR STEPMOTHER: Invited guests who have not responded should be called prior to notifying the caterers of the final count. If the task is daunting, several people should do the calling.
It's sad that in this day and age, people do not seem to understand the importance of responding promptly, and following through if they have given their word -- particularly when the affair involves a large financial commitment on the part of the host.
DEAR ABBY: I have a crush on "Carl," a guy in one of my classes. My problem is, I can't get him to notice me. We are totally alike but he hasn't yet realized it, and he isn't giving me the attention I'd like.
Abby, I have done everything I can think of to get Carl to look my way. I even wore a T-shirt with his name on it, and dyed my blond hair his favorite color (blue). What should I do now? -- WANTS HIM BAD IN ARIZONA
DEAR WANTS: You've already done enough. I'm sure he's noticed you, but now it's time to step back, be a little less flamboyant -- and let Carl do the pursuing.
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