DEAR ABBY: My husband's father retired last year (he is 66 years old, but in good shape and looks and acts like a man of 50). He lost his wife last year (a wonderful woman), but he bounced back really well and has never been a burden on anybody.
Dad lives in Illinois, but he comes to visit us quite often. I love having him, but here's the problem. We live in Las Vegas, and when Dad is here, he loves to go to casinos every night. He is not a big gambler - he just enjoys seeing the shows.My husband has an excellent job (nothing to do with the casinos), but we don't enjoy going out every night. Dad has a very nice income; he's not a millionaire, but he lives well and has no big money worries.
Anyway, we hate to send Dad out alone every evening, but we have had enough of the casinos, so how can we handle this sticky situation? - DAD'S DAUGHTER-IN-LAW
DEAR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW: What's wrong with telling "Dad" what you told me? In plain language, you love him and want him to enjoy himself while he's visiting you, but you have had your fill of the casinos, so you hope he will forgive you if you don't accompany him every night.
And by the way, if it hasn't occurred to you that a gentleman who looks and acts like a 50-year-old might appreciate some female companionship - give it some thought. Everybody knows at least one woman who would be tickled pink to fill the bill.
DEAR ABBY: I can't believe I'm writing this. This is a second marriage for both me and my wife. The problem is this: I have two daughters and two stepdaughters. All four daughters have gotten married since my wife and I were married. My one stepdaughter had a big church wedding; the other one ran after the fellow and finally married him in Texas. They were married by a judge, so I sent them the money I would have spent on a big wedding.
Now, both stepdaughters are divorced. The one that got married in Texas is engaged again and wants a big wedding since she didn't have one the first time. Abby, I don't believe I should be expected to pay twice - especially since I don't think this will be her last, either.
It's not that I don't have the money, but it has been earmarked for retirement, which is three years away.
How can I handle this? Please answer soon because the wedding looks like it may be in May 1991. - ONE DAUGHTER, ONE WEDDING
DEAR ONE DAUGHTER: I think you've stated your case clearly in your signature. Before your stepdaughter proceeds any further with her plans for a big church wedding, sit her down and tell her that you are not going to pay for a second wedding. Period. And don't apologize for your decision. You have already gone above and beyond. Stand firm, Dad!
CONFIDENTIAL TO HELEN J. HAMMES OF CHICAGO: The poem "Comes the Dawn" has been attributed to Blanche Keegan, Veronica A. Shoffstall, as well as "my aunt," "my grandmother," "my English teacher" and "my minister."
It was copyrighted by Joy Whitman in 1987, although I first saw it more than 20 years ago with "Author Unknown." Go figure.
Most teenagers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)