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A BARTENDER IS A WOMAN'S BEST PROTECTOR

DEAR ABBY: Your reasons why a woman would sit at a bar stool instead of a table show that you have not gone out much as a single woman or you would know why women prefer the bar stool over a table.

As a professional career woman, I can tell you that most women prefer to sit at the bar because it's easier to control "unwanted advances."A table affords too much opportunity for someone to wander over and sit down (uninvited), making it difficult to extricate yourself from what could be the embarrassment of asking him to leave.

Whereas, while sitting at the bar, you can swivel away, placing your back to the uninvited person, and thus avoid conversation.

The bartender is a single woman's best protector. If she gives a few eye signals to the bartender, he will politely tell the offending person, "Please don't bother the lady." - A WOMAN'S VIEWPOINT

DEAR VIEWPOINT: Read on for another point of view:

DEAR ABBY: I take issue with your response to the Chicago man whose wife preferred sitting at the bar alone - or with her lady friends - rather than at a table.

A lady sitting at a bar projects a different image than one sitting at a table. It is understood that no invitation is required for any individual to occupy the adjacent seat at a bar. When a woman is seated at a table, a stranger will not join her without an invitation.

Abby, tell that man his original "vibes" were correct. If his wife goes to bars alone and does not want to be bothered, she should sit at a table. - MRS. R.S. LICHTENBERG, POULSBO, WASH.

DEAR ABBY: I am a single woman and I like to sit at the bar because I love to dance. If I were to come into a bar and sit at a table, people may think I am waiting for someone, and nobody will ask me to dance. I would rather let them think I was a pickup because, after talking to me, they would find out differently.

As for a married woman sitting with her girlfriend at a bar - that is something else. Why would a happily married woman want to go to a bar without her husband? Either she wants to make him jealous, she's looking for someone else, or she already has someone.

I know. I was a bartender for 15 years. - LOTS OF HANKY-PANKY IN TEXAS

DEAR LOTS: Let's hear it from a woman bartender from Bellevue, Wash.:

DEAR ABBY: Having been a happily married woman bartender with two children, I beg to differ with "J. in Chicago," who says a woman who sits at the bar, unescorted, is usually looking for company.

When I go out without my husband, I always sit at the bar because I know I'll be bothered less by unwelcome company because of the bartender's presence. A bartender serves as a buffer or protector for women who have stopped at a bar for nothing more than a quiet place to "people watch" or who just want to relax and visit with a friend. - DINA

By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)