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Dear Abby: Remember the saga of Patty and Pat who met through "Operation Dear Abby"? We had everything in common: We both came from Irish Catholic families with seven children. I (Patty) went to an all-girl Catholic school; Pat went to an all-boy Catholic school. We had both dreamed of biking through Ireland, and we were both single and had never been married. You printed our story Nov. 12, 1991.

Well, Abby, here's an update: Pat proposed to me over Thanksgiving weekend (1991) and I said yes! He's been living in Milwaukee since January when he got out of the Army, and he's now living less than two miles from me! He's my best friend, and we fall more and more in love every time we meet. I still can't believe it.We went to Omaha to visit his family, and they couldn't have been more wonderful to me. At first they were a little skeptical, but after seeing Pat and Patty together, they knew we were right for each other.

We are planning to get married in the cathedral of my alma mater, Marquette University in Milwaukee, on Dec. 19, 1992.

- Patty Treacy, Greenfield, Wis.

Dear Patty: Wisconsin in December? A Christmas fantasy! I will be with you in spirit, wishing you both much happiness and success in your marriage.

Dear Abby: I am 20 years old with a baby and a husband. My problem is my husband. It all started when I was six months pregnant. "George" started staying out late, saying he was with the guys. After the baby was born, I found out he had been seeing a young girl who lives next door to his mother. A friend had told me this, but I didn't believe it. When I asked George if there was anything between them, he denied it.

A month later, I found a letter he had written to an Army buddy - but never mailed. In the letter he said he got a girl pregnant and had to rush her to an abortion clinic! That's not all. He got 90 days in the county jail for firing a gun at a girl he had been seeing. (The bullet missed her.)

When I visited him in jail, he broke down and told me he was sorry for cheating on me, but he said he is now a born-again Christian, and he's learned his lesson and wants another chance.

Should I give him another chance? He has lied so much, I don't know if I can ever trust him. He has even agreed to counseling. Our second anniversary is next week. What should I do? I still love him.

- George's Wife

Dear Wife: Since you still love him, give him another chance. I hope his being born-again will keep him straight and honest. But if it doesn't, say goodbye and close the door on this relationship.

Dear Abby: In further defense of those who work at less-than-exalted jobs, I have never seen it expressed better than in the following quotation from John William Gardner:

"An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy.

"Neither its pipes nor its philosophy will hold water."

- Barbara Harrow,

Richland, Wash.

Dear Abby: What do you think of a daughter-in-law who fills the bathtub with water, takes a bath, gives her 2-year-old daughter a bath in the same water, then tells her 11-year-old son to bathe in it?

My grandson resents this. I overheard him say, "Please, Mom. May I please take a shower?" She told him, "No. I don't want the shower messed up."

Abby, I think this is terrible. What do you think?

- Burned Up In San Diego

Dear Burned Up: I second your otion.

1992 Universal Press Syndicate