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DEAR ABBY: I am an 18-year-old guy. I've been out with many girls, but the girl I now date is very special to me. She's 17. We've gone together for six months.

My problem lies in her current behavior. She says it would be better if we didn't see each other "for a while," as she has had some minor personal problems. She lost her cat - the cat just wandered off and was either stolen or just plain lost. Also, she needs more time to do her homework, help her mother, and try to comfort her girlfriend who just broke up with her boyfriend. Also, she needs her rest.It's been a week since I've seen her, and I miss her. Should I call her? Should I wait for her to call me? What should I do? - CARING AND CONCERNED

Assume a "manly" posture and pretend she doesn't exist. Trust me. You've nothing to lose. Ask some other girl out. Write again in 90 days and let me know what's happening.

DEAR ABBY: When my children were younger, we ate our meals together at the kitchen table. Because of changing lifestyles and schedules (divorce, the teens working different hours, microwave ovens, etc.) our mealtime gradually evolved into taking our plates to the living room to eat on our laps in front of the TV.

So what do you say - are we the majority or the minority? - SINGLE MOM IN TOWNSEND, WASH.

I am home most of the time and am living on a fixed income. I charge my daughter (she lives outside my home) $1 an hour for sitting while she works. On top of that, I sit for her when she is not at work, and I do not charge her for that. I provide meals for the child and give her lots of love and affection. (Grandmothers are good at that!)

If you print this, maybe other grandmothers (if there are any in the same boat) will read it and respond. - CHARGING SITTER IN ASHTABULA

"How to Write Letters for All Occasions" provides sample letters of congratulations, thank-yous, condolences, resumes and business letters - even how to write a love letter! It also includes how to properly address clergymen, government officials, dignitaries, widows and others. To order, send your name and address, plus check or money order for $2.89 ($3.39 in Canada) to: Abby's Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)