DEAR ABBY: I'm a 42-year-old woman who has been living with my boyfriend, "Matt." He has asked me to marry him, and I said yes. The problem is, Matt is still married.
Matt and his wife have been separated for eight years. I keep telling him to get in touch with her and see if she filed for divorce, but he keeps putting it off.
I really do love this man, Abby. Matt is good to me and to my children and grandchildren, but sometimes I don't know what to think or do. I want us to buy a house, but I'm scared that if we do, she'll try to take it from us. He says she wouldn't. Please give me some advice. -- LADY IN WAITING IN LOUISIANA
DEAR LADY IN WAITING: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a marriage proposal from a man who is still married means nothing. I urge you to please consult a lawyer before putting money into any joint financial ventures with this man. He may be "good" to you, your children and grandchildren, but he hasn't been completely forthright.
Your concerns are justified. Listen to your woman's intuition. It's sending you an important message.
DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I adopted a dog from my local Humane Society. "Brandy's" approximate age at the time of adoption was 16 years. I had two wonderful years with Brandy before he died.
What I would like to share with your readers is, when you consider adopting a pet, please don't rule out an animal based strictly on age. Older animals can make excellent additions to a family. They deserve our love and kindness, too. -- MISSING BRANDY IN JUNEAU, ALASKA
DEAR MISSING: I'm sorry that you and Brandy were not able to have more years together, but bless you for sharing your heart and home with a pet that many might have overlooked.
Older animals can provide a great deal of love and joy. They also are usually housebroken -- something to consider for anyone for whom puppyhood and adolescence might prove too destructive.
The local shelter is an excellent place to find a mature companion.
DEAR ABBY: The letters that have appeared in your column about safe driving prompt this one. I hope you will consider my experience worth sharing.
I have poor depth perception. I make adjustments for this problem and check the distance between me and the car in front of me by looking at the distance on the road and not at the car.
I began to notice that the cars coming at me were "fuzzy" and that I had to close one eye to have a clear image of them. Then I realized I was doing the same thing while watching television. I mentioned it to my optometrist, and she checked my eyes and found that I had double vision. The adjustment to my prescription was so slight that you would not notice it, but I can now see clearly with my new glasses. -- CLEARLY FOCUSED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR CLEARLY FOCUSED: Your letter was an eye-opener. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to remind readers to have their vision checked every year -- and to report any changes in vision to the doctor immediately.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)