DEAR ABBY: As you know, most women invest a lot of time in addition to money so they can look and feel beautiful.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Women's Health would like to encourage women to get the most out of their health and beauty products by taking the time to read the directions and following them properly. Our message to women is, "Take Time to Care About ... Health and Beauty."

In celebration of National Women's Health Week (May 11 to May 17), we are offering a free Health and Beauty Kit that includes tools for making informed choices about the cosmetics and other products women use every day. This collection of fact sheets is available in English and Spanish, and is an example of how the FDA has been working to promote the safe use of health and beauty products ever since the landmark Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was signed in 1938.

Please let your readers know about this opportunity. The information will be sent to them without charge. This effort has already been paid for with taxpayer dollars, including postage and handling.

"" KATHLEEN UHL, M.D., ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH

DEAR KATHLEEN: I'm pleased to pass the word along, and congratulations for 70 years of progress on cosmetic safety. Your Health and Beauty Kit is informative, and I'm sure readers will find the tips and easy-to-read materials on cosmetics, contact lenses (and more) of interest.

For the quickest service, the kits should be ordered online at . If you do not have online access, send your name and address to Health/Beauty Information Kit, Pueblo, CO 81009, or call toll-free: (888) 878-3256, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, and ask for the Health and Beauty Information Kit. Readers, order your kit today because quantities are limited.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I haven't lived here very long. Our only company is a dear friend, "Sid," who lives nearby. I love to entertain and have guests over, so naturally I invite Sid to dinner quite often.

My problem is Sid never arrives on time for a meal. I usually have to tell him dinner will be ready an hour earlier than it really will be, so he'll show up before it is finished cooking.

I take pride in having everything ready at once for a large meal. When I must keep things warm for an hour or more extra, it not only ruins the mood but the food dries out. At Easter we had Sid over and told him dinner would be at — p.m. When I called him at 1:30, he told me he hadn't even showered or shaved yet to come over.

Is there a polite way to show my frustration at Sid's lack of punctuality, or should I stop inviting him to join us for meals? I don't want to be rude.

"" FRUSTRATED IN THE KITCHEN

DEAR FRUSTRATED: By all means stop inviting Sid for meals. Instead, invite him for leftovers, and if he asks why, do not be shy about explaining (politely, of course). And, because you love to entertain, I'm advising you to join some service organizations so you can widen your circle of friends.

Dear Abby is written by , 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.