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DEAR READERS: As promised, today I'm printing my own tried-and-true list of how to meet a potential mate. (Because some of my suggestions have already been offered by others, I'm abbreviating this list.) Read on:

Simply put, decent people are found where decent people gather. You will never meet anyone sitting at home, so get out of the house and become involved. Enroll in an adult education class, take a class in auto mechanics, welding, computer training, sailing, navigation, golf.

Volunteer your services. There are plenty of under-privileged, disabled, elderly and teens who could use a friend. Get involved with your church or a civic organization. Join a political party and volunteer to help at a polling station. (You'll meet everyone in your district!) Join a professional organization -- Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, manufacturing organization or any organization having to do with your profession.

Take dancing lessons -- square dancing, line dancing, ballroom or salsa. Take up fishing or hiking, join a gym or health club. Do some entertaining and ask your friends to bring along a friend. If you have children, join Parents Without Partners.

You may not meet "The One" right away, but you'll make new friends -- and one of them may have a friend who's perfect for you.

DEAR ABBY: A former friend I'll call "June" was the cause of many important relationship breakups in my life -- one of which is mended now. We hadn't spoken for years.

About seven years ago, June was hired at the place where I have worked for the past 12 years. She now tries to find and make up excuses to converse with me, both in and out of work. I ignore her. I am not mean or rude; however, I have complained to our supervisors that I don't want anything other than work-related issues to do with June. They have notified her of my complaints, and she is getting the hint.

Outside of work is another story. I "forgave" June many years ago, but I still do not wish to have her as a friend or acquaintance. Please tell me how to get rid of her. I have considered a restraining order, but she hasn't done anything threatening. -- BEING STALKED IN KOKOMO

DEAR BEING STALKED: The next time June approaches you outside of work, if you haven't already done so, tell her exactly what you have told me. If that doesn't do the trick, change your routine -- the places or the hours that you shop, go for exercise, etc. If the woman still pursues you, then do inform the police that you are being stalked by someone who appears to be unbalanced, because that may be what the woman is, and get it on record.

DEAR ABBY: I was sitting with a friend today, and we began talking about the rising gas prices. After a few minutes she said, "Why don't Americans do what they do in Europe?"

I asked her what that was, and she told me that Europeans take a regular day off from driving -- which not only saves gas but also brings families closer together. What an excellent idea for people here in the United States.

I think it is a simple solution to a growing problem and could make a huge difference. Do you think this is possible? -- JIM H., NAPLES, FLA.

DEAR JIM H.: I certainly do. When people are determined enough, anything is possible. We may not be able to control gas prices, but we can decide how we want to spend our money. For those who need to economize, walking, riding bicycles, ride-sharing and public transportation are sensible solutions.

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 $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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

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