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Dear Ann Landers,
I just read the letter from the woman who asked her daughter's friends to do charitable good deeds rather than bring gifts to the girl's birthday party. She said she didn't want her daughter to grow up to be materialistic like the previous generation. Well, OK, so her daughter won't be materialistic. Big deal. She will grow up to be a good little socialist instead. I say let the kid get presents. My generation may have been materialistic, but we aren't nearly as screwed up as today's touchy-feely generation. -- Hal in Texas

Dear Hal,
You're out of the loop. Touchy-feely is old hat. The trend is now toward the materialistic and the acquisitive. Check the online crowd, and you will see what computers have done to our society. There are so many goodies to be had, and people want more of everything. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: "Things are in the saddle and ride mankind." If Emerson came back today, he would get an eyeful. Gem of the Day: A wonderfully consoling thought about marriage is that when you look around, you will always see someone who did worse.

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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies."
-Ann Landers