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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Stuck in Dreary Job Seeks Out Brighter Lights

DEAR ABBY: I am 17, almost 18, out of high school, and working at an advertising agency. My aunt and someone I knew there got me the job.

When took the job, I thought it would be glamorous. Wrong. It's boring. I do the job well, but I don't enjoy working behind a desk seven-plus hours a day. I am very outgoing and want to work in the entertainment field.

Abby, I would like to go to college and study music, but my parents are so proud of me for having this job that I'm afraid it would break their hearts if I gave up this opportunity. I don't want to hurt them, but I don't want to be stuck here forever. How can I handle this without disappointing my family? -- WANNA BE A STAR

DEAR WANNA BE: I'm sure your parents consider it a feather in your cap to be in advertising at your young age. However, as parents, they would not want you to waste away at a job you dislike. Be honest with them. Tell them you want to go to college and pursue a career in entertainment. They may caution you that the field is risky, but if you promise to also prepare in college for a secondary career in a more stable field, your parents will probably support your decision.

DEAR ABBY: We don't own a computer, but the Internet has had an effect on us. Our daughter lives 300 miles from us, and until our last visit, we always enjoyed the time we spent with her and her family. This time, however, they spent more time on the chat lines than they did with us. We were deeply hurt that the chat lines were more important than we were.

As we returned home, we discussed staying home in the future, rather than driving all that distance only to be put in front of a television set while they sat in front of their computer.

Unfortunately, many people ignore their guests in favor of Internet friends; they see nothing wrong with it.

We hope they recognize themselves in your column and take the message to heart. -- STAYING HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

DEAR STAYING HOME: Don't count on it. The guilty rarely recognize themselves in my column and change their ways. I understand that some people get "hooked" on chat lines, but that's no excuse for ignoring guests.

If it's not inconvenient, consider inviting your daughter and her family to spend the holidays at YOUR home occasionally, where no computer can interfere with the celebration or conversation.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a single parent, a father raising a 6-year-old boy. My father also lives in our home. My son gets a lot of attention from Dad and me, and he also has everything money can buy.

My friends have advised me to marry as soon as possible so that my son will have a mother. Should I rush into a marriage, or wait until I find someone very special? (I would rather wait.)

How will living in an all-male household affect my son? -- WONDERING DAD

DEAR WONDERING: Although it's ideal for a child to have two parents in his life, the wrong mother is worse than no mother at all. Children are adaptable, so take your time and listen to your intuition.

Should you notice signs that your son is "missing" something, enlist the help of a female relative to provide some female influence. Or consult a child psychologist to advise you.

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 $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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