DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, "Vanessa," and I have been engaged almost a year. We're to be married in three months. When I popped the question, I took her to one of her favorite spots in the Smoky Mountains. When I proposed, she was overcome with emotion -- but not the kind I would have thought. She said yes, but she wasn't at all happy about being surprised. She doesn't like surprises.
At the time, I was sure she had an inkling about my intentions. We had discussed becoming engaged several times. Now, as the wedding draws near, she wants me to "re-propose." It makes me feel like my first wasn't good enough, and it is really upsetting me. I only intended to do it once in my life. What would you recommend? -- QUESTIONED-OUT IN OHIO
DEAR QUESTIONED-OUT: I recommend you clear the air with Vanessa ASAP. Tell her you intended to propose only once in your life, and that her request has hurt your feelings. If she still insists on a second proposal, ask for a script so you won't disappoint her again. Then be prepared to have her provide you with them regularly, because unless you're a mind reader, it's the only way you'll live up to her fantasies.
DEAR ABBY: We stand in line for movie tickets, sporting events, Black Friday shopping, etc. Am I being overly sensitive when I have stood in line and the person in front of me allows family or friends to cut in? It irks me no end when I have spent anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours waiting and someone butts in front of me.
How can I tactfully address this without being confrontational? Or should I just bite my tongue and move on? -- STANDING IN LINE
DEAR STANDING: It's one thing when a person lets a spouse or one other person in -- and quite another when it's half a dozen people. However, folks this rude can be hypersensitive when challenged and cause an altercation, so I don't recommend taking them on.
An exception to this would be Black Friday, or a store event in which only a certain number of shoppers will be allowed in. In a case like that, security should be notified if a large number of people are cutting in line.
DEAR ABBY: How can I get my stepsons to show some compassion and love for their father? They seem to forget that they have him, and that he labored to help them become successful citizens. He's a kind and sensitive man who should be cherished. He has Alzheimer's disease and needs their love now more than ever.
They live in other states, but could call more than once a year. My husband doesn't say much about them anymore. He did when we first married six years ago. We keep busy, but I cry for him. He has no family. His first wife lived for her sons only and probably forgot about her relationship with my husband. Perhaps this attitude was passed on to his sons. How do others in my situation cope? -- CRYING IN WISCONSIN
DEAR CRYING: Dry your tears, pick up the phone and encourage the "boys" to call their father once a week to say they are thinking of him and love him -- and to share some memory their father will relate to. And should your husband's sons have a memory lapse and forget to call, remind them -- but do it without laying a guilt trip.
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.)