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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I'm so confused. I was seeing this guy, "Stan," for almost three years. Then he joined the Navy. Before he left, he told me not to wait for him, so we broke up.

Several months later, I began dating "Ollie." Things were getting serious, and I discovered I was pregnant. When I told Ollie about the baby, he dumped me.

Meanwhile, Stan came home on leave. He told me he loved me, and asked me to wait for him to finish his training, and then we would be together again. About a month later I suffered a miscarriage.

Not long after that, Ollie came to see me and I told him I had lost the baby. He told me he knew he had been wrong to leave me when he found out I was pregnant, and said he wanted us to get back together.

I am deeply in love with Stan, however, he's not here and Ollie is –- and frankly, I care for him, too. -- NEEDS AN ANSWER IN VIRGINIA

DEAR NEEDS: Ollie has demonstrated that when the chips are down and you needed him, he wasn't man enough to accept responsibility and support you. That is an example of his character. Do you want to face life's problems alone, or have a partner who will be there for you? Answer that question and you'll know which man to choose.

DEAR ABBY: My in-laws are giving me a hard time, and I need a second opinion. For the past four years, I have lived with a bad gall bladder. I finally had it removed last January.

I am now on a fairly strict diet of "do's and don'ts." Although we have explained this to my in-laws many times, they don't seem to get the message that I cannot eat "normal" food.

Would it be rude for me to bring my own food to family dinners, or should I just grin and bear it and sit there and not eat on these occasions? -- WANTS TO BE PROPER IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR WANTS TO BE PROPER: Your health must come first. Since you are on a restricted diet, and your in-laws seem unwilling or unable to accommodate you, by all means bring your own food.

DEAR ABBY: Does anyone know, or even care, how it feels to be a widow? With the exception of her children or other widows, I doubt it matters to very many others.

I have tried to be outgoing, staying attractive and accepting invitations. I really looked forward to the recent wedding of one of my relatives. However, at the reception it did not take long for the loneliness to set in as I watched the couples dance with each other and with guests at other tables. Throughout the entire evening, I hoped someone would ask me to dance. It never happened.

There's a song, "Put on a Happy Face." I'm very good at it when people hurt me. I wore mine all evening.

I have a message for those people having a good time dancing at wedding receptions: Please dance with widowed relatives and friends. It will save them trips to the ladies room to cry. -- HAPPY FACE IN S. DAKOTA

DEAR HAPPY FACE: My heart ached a little when I read your poignant letter. Thank you for reminding people to pay attention to the wallflowers.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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