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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were on vacation out of state with our four young children, staying at a large resort that offered a free buffet breakfast. While my husband tended to the children's beverages and eating utensils, I stood in line to make waffles for everyone. (There were three waffle irons available.)

As I made four waffles for the six of us -- as others were doing for their families -- a woman began berating me and another man for "monopolizing" the waffle irons. She said we should make only one waffle at a time and then get back in line. She went on to insult our kids by saying that by feeding our kids whole waffles for breakfast, we are responsible for the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country.

Was I being rude? Is there a rule of etiquette regarding waffle-making in a buffet? We like to sit down as a family and enjoy our meal together. -- WAFFLING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR WAFFLING: As far as I know, you broke no rule of etiquette. What you encountered was a hungry woman who was taking her impatience out on you. She is lucky you didn't hand her an egg and tell her to go suck on it.

DEAR ABBY: Two weeks before our youngest child's wedding, my husband of more than 40 years suddenly became obsessed with worry that I was unfaithful. It was unfounded and nearly ruined the wedding for both of us. This continued for two weeks after the wedding, until he finally vowed to "let it go."

My husband is now bending over backward to make it up to me. He is as thoughtful and passionate as if we were on our honeymoon again. While I'm enjoying the attention, I can't help but wonder if he is the guilty one. What do you think? -- TURNING THE TABLES IN ILLINOIS

DEAR TURNING THE TABLES: What I think isn't nearly as important as what you think. If you think he has been unfaithful, you may be right. The question now is, what do you intend to do about it? If you no longer trust your husband, then marriage counseling would be appropriate.

DEAR ABBY: I lost my wife and only child three years ago in a car accident. I felt my life ended that day, but I've managed to put the pieces back together thanks to the support of my family and friends. Now I'm at the point where I think I'm strong enough to start dating again.

When do I tell my date what happened? I don't want to scare her away with my story. It's a big part of who I am, but it's not all I am. First dates are about getting to know someone and it's hard not to share this, but I'm uncomfortable sharing right away. Do you have any advice? -- TENTATIVE IN MINNESOTA

DEAR TENTATIVE: I see no reason why you should disclose all the details of what happened to your wife and child on a first or second date. If the subject of your marital status is raised, it's perfectly all right to say that you are a widower, that the subject is a painful one, and you will share more details when you know the person better. It would be insensitive for anyone to press you for more information after hearing a statement like that.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)