DEAR ABBY: The letter from "Shocked in Colorado" prompts my first letter to you. I can top her bizarre tale of a double-dealing lover.

I met a handsome man in October 1983. "John" said he was married, so we had to be "careful." He was so charming, I couldn't resist him. John would come to my house for lunch and "whatever" twice a week. In December of '88, I happened to see his car pull into an alley behind a strange house. (By this time I had caught him in several small lies and had begun to mistrust him.) I obtained the address and phone number of this house. I called and a woman answered. When I asked for John, she acted so strange I knew he was there. To make a long story short, I called her again, and the two of us got together.This is what we learned: John had been seeing her for five years, too - just three days longer than I. She gave him breakfast and I gave him lunch. He never called us by our names - he called us both "Luv." He took us to the same places out of town and had given us identical gifts and cards for the holidays. He'd phone us in the evening: He couldn't talk, but we could, so he'd tap on the receiver - two taps for "yes" and one tap for "no."

Abby, I gave this man five years of my life - so did she. I still hurt a little, but it's a relief not having to cheat and slip around anymore. Would you believe that this woman and I lived within a mile of each other? - RECOVERING IN ARKANSAS

DEAR RECOVERING: After writing this column for 33 years, I can believe anything. But, there's a lesson to be learned here. There is no free lunch. Or breakfast, either.

DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old daughter, "Sara," was assigned to read your booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding," for her phys-ed course on hygiene and homemaking. I thought you'd get a kick out of what happened when Sara overheard her older sister telling her father and me that she was going to announce her engagement soon.

Sara rushed to her room and grabbed your booklet to advise us of our "responsibilities." Then she proceeded to read aloud: "The groom's parents provide the bachelor party, pay the minister, etc. The bride's parents provide the torso." - SAN FRANCISCANS


Dear Abby's Cookbooklet is a collection of favorite recipes - all tested, tried and terrific! To order, send your name and address, plus check or money order for $3.50 ($4 in Canada) to: Abby's Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)