DEAR ABBY: I met a guy in the Army through We wrote e-mails back and forth and fell in love. You really changed my life, Abby. I just want to say thank you. God bless. – WALKING ON AIR IN LIMA, PERU

Congratulations – that’s wonderful news. Since the program began in 1967, there have been many romances and marriages between couples who met through Operation Dear Abby.

My partnership with the Department of Defense is now year-round, and I’m pleased to say that since December 2001, more than 2 million messages of support have been sent to our troops stationed around the world. And it’s all due to my caring readership.

P.S. The Web address is Let’s keep those messages of support coming!

DEAR ABBY: I am a 30-something single woman dating “Chuck,” who is kind and thoughtful. We have been seeing each other nearly four months.

Chuck is a great guy, but there is one big problem. He is very hairy. His chest and back are covered with long, dark, thick body hair. It is a real turn-off, and it prevents me from being physically attracted to him.

In all other ways, Chuck is a wonderful man – sweet, generous and compassionate. He has been hinting recently that he would like a long-term relationship. I don’t want to hurt his feelings or his self-esteem. Do I have the right to bring up hair removal? – NOT WILD ABOUT HAIRY

If you like everything about Chuck except the fact that he has a fur coat, it’s time to level with him. Semi-permanent hair removal can be accomplished with a laser these days – and many people avail themselves of it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by speaking up.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are professionals in our 50s. We dress well and are average looking. Our problem is, no matter which restaurant we frequent, we are often seated next to the kitchen or work station. It happens whether we are together or alone, with or without reservations, in the United States or Canada. It doesn’t seem to matter.

At one restaurant, I requested “a seat away from the kitchen,” but wondered why this was necessary. If my husband and I looked and acted like slobs, I would understand. Your thoughts, please. – MINDING OUR MANNERS IN SASKATCHEWAN

The tables you have mentioned are usually the least desirable in a restaurant. If you are shown to a table you don’t like, speak up and say the table is not acceptable and you would like to be seated elsewhere. When you make your reservations, request a table in the area you prefer. I’m sure you’ll be accommodated.

DEAR ABBY: I’m being married soon, and one of my good friends suggested that a friend of hers do my makeup for the wedding. Her friend volunteered to help, and it’s a wonderful gesture.

If I have her do my makeup, should I invite her to the wedding? Or should I thank her and give her a nice gift? I need advice, Abby. – CONFUSED IN KENTUCKY

Before making any commitment, have the friend do a “practice makeup” on you. It would be a disaster, if, just before the ceremony, you realized her artistry wasn’t up to your standards. That said, if you take her up on her generous offer, why not do all three – thank her, invite her, and mark the occasion with a token gift.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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