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Dear Abby: You suggested that "older people" should mark the backs of family pictures while they can still remember who's who, and where the pictures were taken and the approximate dates. But why only "older people"? That's something everybody should do as soon as a snapshot or picture is developed.

For years I was too busy (or lazy) to do it, and now that I'm retired and have plenty of time, I can't remember who half the people are!My parents can't help me because my father has been dead for 25 years, and my mother is in a rest home, unable to remember much of anything.

So here I sit with a big box of family pictures, beating my brains out trying to recall names, dates and places. What a mess!

Abby, please remind your readers often to label their pictures. Then their grandchildren won't have to go through what I'm going through now.

- Kicking Myself in Asbury Park

Dear Kicking: Not only should family pictures be labeled, but accounts of historical events and newspaper clippings of births, graduations, marriages and deaths in your family should be dated and kept in a sturdy scrapbook. Fascinating family histories could be preserved if younger members interviewed older relatives. A tape recorder would be ideal for this purpose.

Succeeding generations will love it. Trust me.

Dear Abby: Our very pretty and bright 18-year-old daughter (I'll call her Nancy) graduated from high school last May. She decided to stay home and work for a year before going to college. Nancy met a 29-year-old professional man about six months ago and they started dating. (I'll call him Paul.) They never actually went steady, but Paul gave her a big rush.

Well, for Christmas, Paul surprised Nancy with a beautiful one-carat diamond ring. It came as a big shock to Nancy because she wasn't considering marriage with Paul. In fact, she told me she hated to kiss him because he had a bad case of halitosis!

When Nancy saw the ring, she told Paul she didn't think she should accept it, but he started to cry, so she kept it because she didn't want to hurt his feelings.

Nancy is sure she doesn't want to be engaged, but every time she tries to return the ring, Paul cries, and talks her into keeping it.

Nancy is very tenderhearted and Paul is very persuasive, so do you think it would be all right if Nancy's father returned the ring to Paul?

- Post-Christmas Dilemma

Dear Dilemma: No! Nancy should return the ring herself, and if he cries, he cries.

It's high time Paul learned that he can't buy whatever he wants with tears and diamonds. And Nancy needs to learn that people who "give in" in order to avoid hurting someone else's feelings usually end up hurting themselves. (P.S. About Paul's halitosis: Someone should tell him.)

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