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CAREER WOMAN ISN'T TAKING DETOURS ON ROAD

Dear Abby: My wife and I have been married for two years. I am 51 and she is 42. This is my third marriage (death, divorce) and her second (divorce). We are very much in love, and whatever we do, we do together. It's when we are not together that causes me concern.

My wife works for the government and does some traveling. Sometimes she travels alone and sometimes with other employees. It's these trips that I have problems with. Abby, is it proper for a married person, while away from home, to:1. Accept dinner invitations with a member of the opposite sex?

2. Accept invitations (opposite sex) for cocktails?

3. Accept invitations to a club where there is dancing?

4. Allow a person of the opposite sex in your hotel room?

Maybe my age is my problem, but I would not do any of the above. I just wouldn't feel right. She says that sometimes she is put in a situation where she can't say no. I disagree. I trust her, but I find these activities bordering on the brink of trouble. She thinks I'm being silly. Who is right? Perhaps I'm living with Victorian principles. I await your answer.

- Jealous Dear Jealous: Your wife is a "career woman" - perhaps your previous wives were not. Since she is being up-front with you and telling you what she does on these trips, you have no reason to be jealous. When a businesswoman is "on the road," it's not unusual for her to have dinner with business associates (just as a businessman would). And if she and her escort are dining in a club where there's music and dancing, why shouldn't she dance if she wants to?

You say you trust her. Fine. Now stop worrying about her fidelity, unless you have a reason to question it.

Dear Abby: I am a young woman on my own, and I have been self-supporting since I graduated from college three years ago. I have a friend (male) who makes his living on Wall Street and who knows a lot about stocks. He has done very well, and insists that buying and selling stocks is not a gamble if you know what you're doing.

Well, this friend told me that he had a "hot" stock that was sure to go up immediately. I believed him and invested $5,500 in it. This may not be a lot of money to some people, but it represented my life's savings.

Instead of going up, the stock went down. It's worth about $400 now. My friend felt guilty and offered to buy it from me at the price I paid for it.

Should I let him buy it to relieve his conscience? Or should I tell him I'm a big girl - nobody twisted my arm - and thanks, but no thanks?

- Learned A Lesson Dear Learned: Since he advised you to buy the stock with what represented your life's savings, he had a moral obligation to keep his eye on it. (It didn't lose over 90 percent of its value overnight.)

If I were you, I'd take him up on his offer. Now, take a tip from me, and don't take any more tips from him.

Dear Abby: I heard that you are a big fan of ABC's "Homefront" TV series. I love that show, and watch nothing else but that and the news.

Since "Homefront" takes place in your era, I hope you can answer this question: The pilot episode was titled "S.N.A.F.U." What do those letters stand for? I've asked around, and nobody seems to know.

- Dennis W. in St. Louis

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