DEAR ABBY: I have a young child who has worn glasses since she was 4 months old. She is not to be pitied. We consider it a blessing that the problem (strabismus) was diagnosed and corrected at such an early age. Perhaps in time her glasses will not be such an oddity.

Abby, I am finding it increasingly difficult to be gracious to every well-meaning soul who wants to engage me in conversation about my daughter's eyes and treatment while I'm shopping, dining out, etc. Then there are the rude remarks: "Look at that baby!" "How old is that child?" And, "Poor thing - what else is wrong with her?"These comments come not only from strangers but from our extended family and friends as well - although those familiar to us tend to use the not-so-subtle, "Will she ALWAYS have to wear those glasses?"

Certainly I do not mind talking about it with people I know, but when I'm out running errands with two young children in tow, must I give my undivided attention to strangers just to satisfy their curiosity? How I wish they would keep their questions and comments to themselves. - LOSING PATIENCE IN ST. PAUL

DEAR LOSING PATIENCE: You have written a very important letter. Young children, on seeing something unusual, will ask questions to satisfy their natural curiosity. But adults should know better.

This is a plea for everyone who is old enough to read: Please refrain from gawking or inquiring about those who are "different" because they wear braces, use crutches, walkers, wheelchairs or some kind of device to help them function better.

DEAR ABBY: I have just ordered a teen booklet from you. I wrote a check and clipped it to my note to keep it straight. I just realized that you could be a tremendous help to the banking industry if you would tell your readers to never, never, never fold a check.

My husband is a banker in Fayetteville, Ga., and one of the biggest problems with the check sorters and other high-speed equipment is caused by creased or folded checks. (It interferes with the rapid processing procedures; ask your banker.)

I realize that people are always asking you to print things, but it would be a big help if you could get this message out to the public. - DORTHEA H. REDWINE, FAYETTEVILLE, GA.

DEAR MRS. REDWINE: I'm a convert as of now. I shall never fold a check unless I absolutely must. It may not help your husband's bank, but the folks at my bank should be tickled pink.

DEAR ABBY: I am 15 years old and enjoy going to the mall to window-shop. There is one problem that I cannot seem to handle and I hope you won't think I'm stupid for asking. Many unfortunate people appear in this mall, and it's almost impossible to avoid encountering the question, "Got any spare change?"

Being somewhat of a timid soul, I usually dig into my jeans and give whatever I have. But having the small income of an average teen-ager, I sometimes must consider myself one of the needy.

How can I avoid the uncomfortable feeling of guilt if I have nothing to give but a kind word or two? - WEALTHY IN SPIRIT ONLY

DEAR WEALTHY: Don't feel guilty when you give a beggar just a kind word or two. That's more than most beggars get.

DEAR ABBY: Your phrase "All men do not cheat on their wives" is good English, amateur logicians to the contrary.

If you think William Shakespeare wrote good English, you can find the phrase "All that glisters is not gold" in the Merchant of Venice, Act 2, Scene 7, line 65. - BOB WHEELER, HOCKESSIN, DEL.

DEAR BOB: Thanks. I needed that.


What teen-agers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and address, plus check or money order for $3.50 ($4 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)