DEAR ABBY: I'll be brief. I am in love with a woman who has multiple personality disorder. My friends tell me I'm a fool for falling in love with such a woman.
I love her with all my heart and soul. I know I have a lot to handle, but my love for her is strong, and I know we can prevail. What do you think? -- TRUE LOVE TEXAN
DEAR TEXAN: I'll be brief. I think you had better be absolutely certain that you love every facet of her splintered personality before any or all of you make a lifelong commitment.
DEAR ABBY: Have I committed a social error? The 97-year-old mother of an in-law of ours died recently. The family asked that memorials be sent to the local hospice in her memory. I sent a sizable check, but because we loved her like our own mother, I wanted also to send flowers.
I went to our florist and personally selected a beautiful vase that I thought the daughter could keep, and had it filled with flowers.
After the funeral service, as I walked by the casket, the daughter said to me, "Mother wanted memorials made to hospice." (Right! "Mother" was so out of it for several months that she didn't even know she was under hospice care.)
I spent a lot of money on that funeral and don't regret it. But why did the daughter make me feel so bad? She lashed out at me for doing something out of love for her and her mother. When we left the church the flowers were sitting there with our card still attached. Obviously, they didn't want them or the vase, so I brought them home to enjoy and will give the vase to one of my daughters.
Should I say anything, or should I consider the source? -- DONNA IN AKRON, OHIO
DEAR DONNA: You should consider the circumstances. People who are grieving are not usually at their best or most gracious. The daughter may have been under the impression that the family's wishes had been ignored, and you had sent flowers instead of donating to the group that had helped and supported them and their mother during that critical time.
If the daughter hasn't already been notified about your generous gift (most organizations do inform the family of the deceased about donations received in their loved one's memory), I see nothing wrong with straightening out the misunderstanding. But do it gently and without anger.
DEAR ABBY: I recently let a friend borrow a bracelet of mine. I left it at her house and asked that she return it the next time we saw each other. That was Sunday morning, and I even called ahead of time to make sure she remembered. When we met, she told me she had forgotten to bring it.
A few days later I was at her house again. When she gave me the bracelet, it had been completely destroyed by her cat. She apologized and said she'd replace it. I said it was OK, and then asked if she would really buy me a new one. "No," she replied, "my cat did it, not me." I decided not to push the issue. The bracelet wasn't too expensive, but I feel I deserve some sort of payment because the cat didn't know any better. What should I do? -- AT A LOSS IN MINNESOTA
DEAR AT A LOSS: The bracelet may not have been "too expensive," but chalk this up as a valuable lesson. Your "friend" is irresponsible and not entirely truthful. Unless you're willing to risk losing what you lend her, refrain from making that mistake again.
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 only) 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