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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My fiancee and I recently traveled out of town to visit my best friend, "Frank," who recently married his sweetheart, "Gail." Frank graciously invited my fiancee and me to stay at their apartment. This had been our arrangement prior to his marriage, and I accepted the offer.

Each morning, my fiancee and I got up early and took our morning showers before our hosts. As we finished our showers, Gail would run into the bathroom with an armful of cleaning supplies and scrub it from ceiling to floor.

We are not dirty people. We didn't make a mess in their bathroom. We were a little offended, but said nothing. Was this her way of telling us she didn't want us staying there? Should we stay at a hotel next time we visit? -- FORMER HOUSEGUEST, NORTH OLMSTEAD, OHIO

DEAR FORMER HOUSEGUEST: I'd say she conveyed that message pretty clearly. Considering the fact that they are newlyweds, I think you'd all be more comfortable were you to book a room at a nearby hotel or motel.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 42-year-old woman. To those around me I seem to have everything -- great kids, a beautiful home, a career and a pretty good life. But deep down I am miserably lonely.

I divorced a cheating spouse eight years ago. I haven't been in a serious relationship since.

I have concentrated on my children, my career and my financial portfolio. But now that my kids are older and I have a lot of idle time on my hands, I miss being in a relationship.

I have tried singles groups, chat lines, and I'm even attending more social events, to no avail. I take good care of myself and look good for my age. But the 20- and 30-something competition makes it hard, if not impossible, to attract the kind of man I'd like to be with.

What advice have you for someone my age who has been benched for years and is ready to play ball again? -- LONELY IN GEORGIA

DEAR LONELY: Only this: Stop selling yourself short. You have stability and life experience to offer, and a man with an eye for quality will appreciate it. Don't be discouraged; dating is a hit-and-miss game, regardless of age. You are only in the fourth inning, so get off your rusty-dusty, stay out there and keep on pitching.

DEAR ABBY: I am 15. My grandfather recently committed suicide. He asked to be cremated. Since there was no funeral or visitation, I feel like there was no closure. Is there any way I can tell my grandfather goodbye? -- NEEDS CLOSURE IN GEORGIA

DEAR NEEDS CLOSURE: Please accept my sympathy for your loss. I'll tell you a technique that has worked for many other people. Write your grandfather a letter. Put into it all the things you wanted to say to him but didn't have a chance to. Put it aside for a week, then re-read it and "send it" to your grandfather by burning it. I hope it works for you, too.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600