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SON'S SEX LIFE IS EXPOSED BY UNLUCKY COINCIDENCE

DEAR ABBY: How much interest in an adult child's sex life is normal? My mother seems obsessed.

I hooked up with a girl a couple of months ago on a Friday. She spent most of the weekend with me. We both knew it wouldn't go further than that.

It turns out she works with my mom, who by chance found out about the weekend. Mom has been interrogating her for every detail every chance she gets, and she likes to drop details into my daily life to embarrass me.

How much interest is a parent supposed to show? Mine knows my favorite position and intimate interests. -- EXPOSED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR EXPOSED: It seems your mother is not only nosy, but also has a sadistic sense of humor. She's getting a kick out of embarrassing you.

Tell her to lay off because what she's doing is inappropriate, and it's making you uncomfortable. If she can't respect your wishes, then realize it's time you put some distance between you and Mama. And to prevent this from happening in the future, find out more about the chicks you hook up with because this last one sings like a bird.


DEAR ABBY: The holidays will soon be here, and so will something that may seem petty, but really irks me. My friends have a large home with plenty of room, so they usually host the holiday dinners. We -- the guests -- supply a few side dishes to accompany the meal. I usually bring several "sides" because I like to cook and I enjoy variety.

My problem is presentation. I bring my sides in nice casserole dishes and do my best to make them look appealing. Because I'm not particularly artistic, it takes some effort. When I arrive with the food, my hosts unceremoniously dump it into disposable aluminum containers, wash my dishes and put them aside.

I hope I don't sound picky, but even when I have asked that the items be served in the dishes I brought, the hosts say, "Oh, this is easier." I have said I don't mind bringing home dirty dishes, but my wishes are ignored. Am I being petty? -- FRUSTRATED GUEST IN NEW YORK

DEAR FRUSTRATED: I don't think your feelings are petty. Having put as much effort as you have into making the food you're preparing look as appetizing as possible, it's understandable. However, because this is a recurring annoyance, consider preparing this year's contributions in disposable aluminum pans. That way, your creations won't be "dumped."


DEAR ABBY: My wife is a neatnik who always finds extra or unexpected things to do before meeting me at the car, in the TV room, etc. It means I always must wait for her before going anyplace.

I have asked her a thousand times to avoid doing "one last thing" before coming to meet me. How can I appeal to her better nature to avoid tending to every tiny detail before joining me? Or am I being too impatient? -- WAITING FOR YOUR ANSWER

DEAR WAITING: I'm sorry, but I can't give you an unbiased answer because I am guilty of the same thing, and it makes my husband crazy, too. (I suspect your wife and I are not the only women who do this.)


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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