Dear Abby: 80-year-old suitor wonders — Will she accept this rose?

As the pair’s first date nears, man considers borrowing an idea from ‘The Bachelor.’

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DEAR ABBY: I am an 80-year-old senior man who has met, texted daily and called an 80-year-old woman for the last six weeks. We both look and think young for our ages as well. We plan to have our first date on a Valentine’s Day theme. It’s awkward not knowing what to do when we have our first date. She says “friends first,” and I agree, but we are highly compatible based on our communications.

Because our first date will be on Valentine’s Day, she said she wants to see if there is chemistry. I’m conflicted about whether to give her a flower or flowers. Would it be appropriate to have a single long-stemmed rose in my car and, if she’s interested in a second date or we both feel chemistry, use “The Bachelor” TV show idea of asking her if she will accept the rose for a second date?

I know it may sound cliche, but I’m reluctant to take the rose to the table. Yes, some of us seniors want to be romantic, but we are still concerned about what’s acceptable in today’s dating world. — UNCLEAR IN THE SOUTH

DEAR UNCLEAR: I love your letter and I like your style. When you go to the table, have a small box of chocolates to present to your lady friend. The idea of keeping a long-stemmed rose concealed in your car is charming, as long as you keep the stem in water so it won’t wilt while you’re having dinner, which would be very unromantic. Please let me know how the date goes. I wish you luck.

DEAR ABBY: My son’s bar mitzvah was two months ago. We had 125 guests. My son received a gift from everyone except my boss, “Hal.” I have known Hal most of my life. He used to work with my grandfather, and he’s like a family member.

Hal is extremely generous and would certainly have given my son a gift, so I know this is simply an oversight on his part. There’s also a slight chance we lost his gift amidst the chaos of the event. Should I gently mention this to him or just let it go? — PROUD PAPA IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR PAPA: If it were me — and my child had received gifts from 124 guests at his bar mitzvah — I would be inclined to let it go. However, if you feel you must pursue this, approach it by telling Hal you are embarrassed but some of your son’s gift cards got mixed up “in the chaos.” Add that he needs to write thank-you notes, so what should Hal be thanked for?

DEAR ABBY: I live with my two older sisters. One is 18, and the other is 17. We go to dance parties on Saturday nights. My sisters want to dance up on the stage, but they just wibble-wobble all over the place. They’re not good at it at all. Should I just pretend I don’t know them, or what? I don’t want to embarrass or insult them. — BETTER DANCER IN OHIO

DEAR DANCER: It should not embarrass or insult them if you offer to show them some “different” dance moves. In fact, it would be doing them a favor. However, if they refuse, then drop the matter and refrain from criticizing them for their performance because nobody wants a bad review. Trust me on that.

DEAR READERS: On this day that celebrates love, I want to express how much I cherish the relationship I have with you. Wishing all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day. — LOVE, ABBY

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

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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