DEAR ABBY: I am 14 and I have been dating this girl, "Beth," for two months and three weeks -- a long time for me. When we started dating, I told her I had had sex before, and I had just quit smoking and drinking and stuff. Well, Beth told her mom, and now her mom doesn't believe I quit!
I want Beth's mom to approve of me because it'll make it easier for her to deal with me, because I really like Beth. I've been to their house three times, and I've met her mom, her dad and her aunt, but her mom talks about me behind my back. She's threatening to break us up -- but I haven't done anything to her mom. I'm usually polite and well-mannered, but she just doesn't like me. Please help me. We don't plan on having sex. Beth wants to wait, which is fine with me. -- CRAZY IN LOVE, FORT STEWART, GA.
DEAR CRAZY IN LOVE: For one moment, please try and look at this from the mother's point of view. When mothers fantasize about the boys their little girls will eventually date, it is not usually someone who at 14 has had sex, smoked, drank alcohol -- "and stuff" -- even if they say they have quit.
It might help to have a man-to-man talk with Beth's father and make clear to him that you respect his daughter, are in no way trying to take advantage of her, and that you are now walking the straight and narrow. I can't promise it'll work, but it's worth a try.
DEAR ABBY: I am in college. A girl from another country relies on me for all of the information the professor in one class lectures on. I feel sorry for her because I understand how difficult it is to get a grasp on a subject that is taught in a tongue that is not your own.
We exchanged phone numbers because the professor asked us to do so, to ensure that we had someone to update us if we missed a class. Now the girl won't stop calling me, sometimes three times a day or more, to clarify the material.
Abby, I have three children and a husband to take care of, and I'm taking two classes with tons of homework. I do not have time to re-teach the class to anyone. I would have already snapped at someone who was rude or mean, but this girl is excruciatingly nice. What should I do? -- TRAPPED IN GEORGIA
DEAR TRAPPED: Your classmate may have a comprehension problem; she could also be just plain lonely. If I were you, I'd tell the professor what's going on and ask if he/she can arrange for her to get some extra help of a more formal nature. Then I would kindly tell the young woman that, because of the demands of my family as well as school, my time is extremely limited and, if she has more than one question about a class, she must direct them elsewhere.
DEAR ABBY: During the year, I host several birthday and holiday dinners in my home. When I have three generations, should I ask the eldest to give the blessing? If my son and his wife are present, which one should I ask? When I have friends in, should I ask them to do the honors?
I don't want to embarrass anyone, but I don't want anyone to feel left out, either. I have always felt awkward about this subject and never know what is appropriate. -- GREAT-GRANDMOTHER IN KENTUCKY
DEAR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER: The solution to your problem is to ask your guests which one of them would like to give the blessing, or offer it yourself.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)