Dear Abby: Regarding the letter from the widower who contemplated keeping one of his wife's rings to give to a "Miss Perfect" should he meet her:

My parents were divorced when I was 2 years old. I was reared by my father and my aunt.Mother died of cancer at the age of 48. I had lunch with several of her friends before the funeral, and they told me that Mom wanted me to have her pearl earrings. The fact that she had thought of me was overwhelming in my time of grief. I spoke to my stepfather about the earrings, and he said: "No one touches her jewelry! You can't have them!"

When my older brother sent some photographs of my stepfather and his new bride, I noticed she was wearing Mother's earrings. No one could have put a price on how much those earrings would have meant to me. I was . . .

- Her Only Daughter

Dear Daughter: My condolences to you on the loss of your beloved mother. Your stepfather's insensitivity was inexcusable. How sad that your mother did not make her wishes known in a will.

Dear Abby: Harold Z. of Chicago asked why we use animals and birds to describe the worst qualities in humans: Not true - we attribute as many positive qualities to birds and animals as we do negative.

For example:

- Busy as a bee

- Gentle as a lamb

- An eager beaver

- A memory like an elephant

- Wise as an owl

- Happy as a clam

- Eats like a bird

- Runs like a deer

- Quiet as a mouse

- Quick as a cat

- Cute as a bug's ear

- Strong as an ox

There are more, of course.

- Willard L., Silver Spring, Md.

Dear Willard: And don't forget:

- Graceful as a swan

- Fearless as a lion

- Loyal as a dog

- Proud as a peacock

If I've overlooked any, I'm sure my readers will write and let me know.

Dear Abby: Please print this as soon as you can. My future daughter-in-law is getting married in a long wedding gown. Would it look right for me to wear a white two-piece suit? I look good in white. I am in my 60s and have been asked to be the matron of honor. My son is wearing a dark suit.

- D.E., Daytona Beach, Fla.

Dear D.E.: Unless it's an all-white wedding, you should select a color other than white. Traditionally, only the bride wears white at her wedding.

Confidential: To Shaping Up in San Diego: The following ditty, which ran in the Los Angeles Times, suits your situation to a "T":


You're an upright sort of person

And a pretty well-balanced pup

If you can still put on your socks

While you are standing up.

- George O. Ludcke