DEAR ABBY: The letter from the lady whose older sister had criticized her all her life inspired me to write. I know how she feels. I am 74 and my sister is 86. She's the oldest in the family and I'm the youngest, and she never criticized any of our other siblings the way she criticized me.
After being a widow for eight years, I recently remarried, and when I chose my 4-year-old great-granddaughter for my flower girl, Sis criticized me by saying, "Older couples do not have flower girls at their second wedding."She also criticized the write-up of my recent wedding in the local newspaper. She said I should not have named all the out-of-town guests, told where they came from and how they were related to the bride or groom - the list was too long and boring.
Abby, I never criticized any of her weddings, and she has been married six times. (Three times before she was 45, and three times after.)
I am enclosing the write-up of my wedding that she criticized. Please give me your honest opinion of it. - SICK OF SISTER'S CRITICISM
DEAR SICK: I think the write-up is lovely. Perhaps your sister isn't aware that it is customary to list all the out-of-town guests, where they came from and their relationship to the bride or groom.
Don't be too hard on your sister, dear. Some older siblings tend to criticize their younger siblings out of habit.
DEAR ABBY: If you can spare the space in your column, I would like to offer some advice to anyone contemplating marriage or living with someone.
Before you move into the house or apartment, divide ALL of the storage space equitably: that drawer is yours, this drawer is mine; that shelf is yours, this shelf is mine; that closet is yours, this closet is mine, etc. If you don't, you might wake up one day and discover you have been living with a pack rat.
By then it will be too late. Every drawer, every shelf, every closet, space beneath the bed, every nook and cranny will be filled with her or his valued possessions, memorabilia, souvenirs, etc. Mopping, vacuuming and dusting will become a memory.
I learned too late. I've tried pleading, compromising and even threatening to leave. All to no avail. The accumulating goes on and on.
Establish the ground rules at the beginning. It prevents problems later on. Remember, pack rats are not easy to identify. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors and sexes.
Please don't indicate where this came from. Let the pack rats of the world wonder if this letter was written by their spouses or live-in companions. Sign me . . . OUT OF SPACE, OUT OF PATIENCE AND ABOUT TO BE OUT OF HERE
CONFIDENTIAL TO "UNMARRIED, PREGNANT AND TORN BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA": Since you are morally opposed to abortion, and your only problem is whether to keep your baby or give it up for adoption, I urge you to go to an organization called Birthright. It is very much concerned about women in your plight and will help you to make a decision you can live with. God bless you. I wish you well.
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