DEAR ABBY: I'm a 57-year-old lady. I have been a widow 23 years and chose not to date while raising my daughter, who is now 26. I would now like to meet a nice man to spend time with, but I suffer from an affliction many older women deal with -- alopecia. My hair is very thin, but with wigs and makeup, I look attractive enough.
I'm afraid I'm being deceptive when I meet a man like that. When is the right time to tell a man what he sees is not what he gets? -- EMBARRASSED IN OHIO
DEAR EMBARRASSED: The logical time to tell someone would be at the point you are becoming intimate enough that he would be running his hands through your hair.
DEAR ABBY: My mother married my father in 1960 when she was barely 16. She was the mother of two children before age 18. My father was older, controlling, abusive and unkind to her.
She wrote to your mother for advice in the 1960s, saying he still carried a photo of his old girlfriend in his wallet and how much it hurt her. Your mother's advice to her was to "grow up." In light of how the times have changed, I am wondering what your advice to her would be in 2017? Both parents are now deceased. -- CURIOUS DAUGHTER
DEAR CURIOUS: Although there were fewer options available for women in 1960 than there are today, I'm shocked that your mom received the advice she did over my mother's signature. My response today would be to ask her why she had chosen to stay with a controlling, emotionally abusive man who persisted in carrying around a photo of his ex-girlfriend in spite of the fact that he knew it hurt his wife. And then I'd suggest she ask herself whether she thought the three of you were better off with him or without him.
DEAR ABBY: I don't like people. I live alone and hardly leave my apartment. I have one friend I talk to on the phone every day, and sometimes my siblings who live out of town, but not often. The core of my issue may be my secret. I am gay and a foreigner.
I like to surf the net, read historical books, and enjoy classic literature novels. For some reason, I feel like hiding myself away from people is making me miss out. Am I abnormal? Do I need a therapist? I have internal peace in my life and I think I'm happy. -- INTELLECTUAL LONER
DEAR INTELLECTUAL LONER: Your status as a gay, foreign loner who is hiding himself away must be troubling you on some level or you wouldn't have written to me. If you feel you could be getting more out of life than you currently are, then it would be worth your while to schedule some sessions with a licensed mental health professional and do some exploring.
CONFIDENTIAL TO MY IRISH FRIENDS:
May you always have
A sunbeam to warm you
Good luck to charm you
And a sheltering angel
So nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you
Faithful friends near you
And whenever you pray,
Heaven to hear you.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!