DEAR ABBY: I've been reading your column since I was a pre-teen girl. I'm 21 and a college senior now. In my freshman year, I met a super guy, "Ray." We hit it off immediately and have been best friends ever since. Abby, Ray was my first love. There was a strong physical attraction between us (we even discussed it), but we didn't act on it for fear of jeopardizing our precious friendship.
Since we met four years ago, I've dated others, lived with someone else, and now Ray has a girlfriend. She is his first serious relationship. Now I am wondering if I should let him know that I am still in love with him. We still are very close friends, and I honestly believe that we could make it as a couple.
I don't expect him to drop his girlfriend for me. However, I cannot spend the rest of my life wondering what might have been had I been willing to risk telling him my feelings.
What do you say, Abby? -- "WHAT IF" IN SACRAMENTO
DEAR WHAT IF: Now that Ray is involved in his first serious relationship, were you to tell him that you are still in love with him, it would cause him no end of consternation. Please, give him a break and put your "true confessions" on hold until you know where Ray's present relationship is going. Should it not endure, and he is free to consider another love relationship, unleash your "confession." But not until.
DEAR ABBY: I am stumped as to what to do about something that happened at work. As a junior executive in a large firm, I submitted an idea to a vice president. He reacted with very little enthusiasm, so I assumed he didn't think much of my suggestion.
About a week later, he showed my idea to the president of the company as though he had originated it. The president thought it was brilliant.
I was furious when I heard what had happened and I wanted to tell my friend a thing or two. However, I took a co-worker's advice to just keep quiet, as any further action on my part could be harmful to my career.
I am still very resentful, seeing his career flourish and not my own. Any advice? -- HAD IT WITH OFFICE POLITICS
DEAR HAD IT: I think you used good judgment in taking your co-worker's advice. Let it go -- and learn from the experience. And the next time you get a "brilliant" idea, submit it to the president yourself.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I just returned from the beach -- our first outing this season. It was a beautiful sunny day in Santa Monica, and the beaches were swarming with men, women and children. I had seen some ads of the new skimpy bikini bathing suits for women, but this is the first time I had seen them worn by real people.
Abby, from behind, some of those women appeared to be naked -- with just a wee little string back there, barely visible, attached to a small patch of fabric in the front, no bigger than a Band-Aid.
I am not some crotchety old woman; I'm 35 years old, but I must admit, seeing so much flesh exposed, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. (My husband laughed.) -- EUGENIA
Most teen-agers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)
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