DEAR ABBY: For the last eight years, I have been the mother of a star in our local high school. When one of my boys would graduate, the next would take over and be even more athletic or musically talented - and in my youngest son's case, both.

Now that they are gone, sporting events make me sad and my husband depressed. I can't stand hearing other parents talk about their children's accomplishments. I also can't stop myself from making some comment about how my sons were better.

- Spotlights Dimmed in Ohio

DEAR S.D.: What you may fail to see is that all parents are proud of their kids, and if you continue to compare other people's children unfavorably with your own, you will soon be as welcome as a polecat at a garden party.

This is why I urge you and your husband to take a little time, refocus your attention to children less fortunate than your own, and invest some of your energy in other youths who need the encouragement and support you can give. If you do, you will be rewarded many times over.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I went to a restaurant last night. We were enjoying our meal when a couple came in and sat at a table close to ours. Soon, a bad body odor wafted over to where we were sitting. It was so strong I couldn't finish my dinner.

When we got up to pay our bill, we told the manager about it and asked what could be done. He said that was a tough question, and he didn't know the answer. I told him I was going to write to Dear Abby and ask. He said if I got an answer to be sure to let him know. What would you suggest?

- Choking in Iowa

DEAR CHOKING: It was not the responsibility of the restaurant staff to "do" anything about your problem. The thing to do was change to a table in another section. If you were questioned about it - which I doubt you would be - the polite response would be that you preferred a table in a different location.