Dear Abby: After reading the letter from the girl who got stuck with the $155 bridesmaid dress, I had to write.

When I was young (too young), I got engaged to a man I hadn't known very long. My parents were paying for the wedding and the attendants were paying for their own gowns and tuxedo rentals.During the month before the wedding, my fiance began to show his true colors. He drank heavily and became physically and verbally abusive. I knew I should have called the wedding off, but I was worried about all the money my parents were spending on the wedding, so I foolishly kept quiet and went through with it. Big mistake!

Two years later, when I finally got the courage to leave him, my friends and family told me they would not have minded losing the money if it saved me from the hell I endured while being married to this abusive man.

Real friends forgive each other.

- Minneapolis

Dear Minneapolis: Thank you for a letter that may save many women from making the mistake you made. This also applies to men. If either the bride or groom has second thoughts about their feelings, it would be far better to call the wedding off. While it may cause the other party to be upset, in the long run, it would be far better for all concerned.

Dear Abby: I saw the letter from "Worried in California," whose 14-year-old daughter was driven home from baby sitting by a drunk parent.

I grew up in New Orleans and was told at any early age that if I ever needed a ride home for any reason - but especially alcohol - at any time of day or night, to call home and one of my parents would come and get me with no questions asked. Mom gave me a quarter, which I carried with me whenever I went out. As I was leaving, I would hear, "Have a good time. Do you have your quarter?"

Only once did I have to call home, not because of alcohol, but when a date turned abusive. He took my purse and refused to give it back, but I still had my quarter - in my shoe.

Abby, please continue to advise parents to tell their children never to get into a car with a driver who has been drinking. Our children are irreplaceable.

- C.L. Down South

Dear C.L.: Be assured I will continue to harp on that theme until my typewriter falls apart. Thanks for an excellent letter.

Dear Abby: "Frustrated With Papa Hoarder," whose father refuses to throw away anything, should get him to a mental health professional who is skilled in diagnosing and treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Her father's failure to handle his affairs is probably not due to incompetence, but to the overwhelming fear of throwing away something important; therefore, he keeps everything. His senseless saving of stacks of printed matter and refusal to accept help in discarding them could be symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, a problem that affects 5 million Americans and is quite treatable.

To obtain referral for treatment and information on OCD, "Frustrated With Papa Hoarder" can contact the OCD Foundation, P.O. Box 70, Milford, CT 06460-0070.

- Paul R. Munford, Ph.D.,

clinical psychologist,

Sacramento, Calif.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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1996 Universal Press Syndicate



All of the Dear Abby columns since 1988 are available online. Search for "DEAR ABBY" in the Lifestyle section and the Deseret News archives.

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