Dear Abby
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WOMAN MISSES THE AFFECTION THAT FIANCE SHOWS TO PETS

DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Bubba," and I have a small disagreement that I would love your take on. He constantly complains that he's too tired, or annoyed or busy, to show me romantic or friendly affection and attention. But he goes out of his way to snuggle and play with our two dogs and cat.

I get jealous when he kisses our dogs over and over again, or stays up later to play with the cat. He thinks I am overreacting.

Am I being petty, or am I justified in thinking that if he has the time and energy to give affection and love to our animals, he should do the same for the woman he's about to make his wife? -- INSULTED IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR INSULTED: You're not overreacting or being petty. Perhaps when Bubba is cuddling the animals, you should remind him that humans need to feel loved in the same way they do. Bubba appears to be extremely insensitive. Please reconsider your engagement, because if you marry Bubba, you may end up starving for affection for as long as the marriage lasts.


DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is now in a nursing home. When my husband's birthday came around, he was depressed by the fact that it was the first time in his life he hadn't gotten a birthday card from her.

So, after struggling to think of a Christmas present for her, I went to the dollar store and bought four Christmas cards and four birthday cards (one for each of her children). I took them to her and had her sign and add a personal note to each one.

I addressed, stamped and mailed the Christmas cards. I will mail the birthday ones at the appropriate times during the year. It was an inexpensive gift, and kind of fun! -- SENDING LOVE IN CEDAR RAPIDS

DEAR SENDING LOVE: It may have been an inexpensive gift, but I'm sure it was precious not only to her but also for each of the recipients. Your idea was lovely, and thank you for sharing it with my readers. Some of them may want to emulate it for other holidays or special occasions.


DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, our son, who is in his 50s, cut off all communication with us and our side of the family. He is self-employed, a hard worker and has three siblings.

He wanted us to co-sign on a loan for a house in another state. The payments would have run us out of money in three years, which would have meant putting our own home up for sale.

Our reason for refusing was we didn't want to risk becoming a burden on our children. My husband and I had to help our own parents, so we have been frugal and never lived above our means.

I send postcards to my son to let him know our love is constant. Should I stop and just leave him alone, as he has asked? -- FORGOTTEN MOM IN ARKANSAS

DEAR MOM: Your son should not have expected you to do anything at this stage of your lives that could jeopardize your remaining years. But if it brings you comfort, I see nothing wrong with sending him the occasional postcard.


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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