DEAR ABBY: Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe my cousin, "Lenore," is the most selfish person I know.
Lenore is getting married in an evening ceremony and has decided to dis-invite our grandfather, Pop-Pop. Pop-Pop was so excited about attending, he bought a new suit and showed it off to everyone who visited him.
Pop-Pop's health is failing and he goes to bed early -- 8:00 p.m. The wedding is at 6:00 p.m., and Lenore and her mother (my aunt) have decided it would interrupt the "perfect wedding" if Pop-Pop were to leave early, so he has been told to stay home. This means Grandmom will attend her first grandchild's wedding alone. Also, my grandparents will have to pay for a nurse to stay with Pop-Pop.
Many people have volunteered to take Pop-Pop home when he becomes tired, but my cousin and her mother say the decision has been made.
What do you think, Abby? Isn't it awful to exclude Pop-Pop just because he is old? -- APPALLED COUSIN
DEAR APPALLED COUSIN: Yes, it is awful, particularly since your grandfather was looking forward to attending the wedding. Short of boycotting the wedding, there is little to be done. Lenore's day, however, will be perfect in her eyes only. The rest of the family will remember it as the day Pop-Pop was dishonored.
DEAR ABBY: You told the mother of "Disappointed but Seeking Help" that her daughter didn't become sexually active because she was looking for the kind of affection and attention she could receive from her family.
While I cannot speak for that girl, I know that is exactly the reason I became sexually active in high school. My parents had their jobs, their parties, their worries and their lives. I didn't think they would notice me even if I were dead.
I planned suicide, until a male teacher held me in his arms and told me that I mattered. I would have given anything to have even this semblance of love and affection. I needed someone to care about me. My parents didn't and he did. Sex was a very small price to pay. And my parents never noticed a thing.
Yes, I am aware that what the teacher did was wrong. But I will never forget how much it meant to me at the time. At least he could see my pain when my family was oblivious to it.
We all seek love, and many of us will take whatever is offered when that is all there is. If children are to love appropriately, they must learn to give and receive love in the right places -- from their family in youth, then from friends,and later from a lover and mate.
Parents: If you don't want your children "looking for love in all the wrong places," perhaps you should make sure they're getting enough in the RIGHT places. -- KNOWS FIRSTHAND IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR KNOWS FIRSTHAND: I apologize for having said so emphatically that the teen-age daughter did not become sexually active because she was looking for the kind of affection and attention she could receive from her family. Teen-agers begin having sex for varied and sometimes complicated reasons that are not always related to sexual needs as much as emotional needs.
P.S. Although the high school teacher recognized your neediness and vulnerability, if his motives had been humanitarian instead of predatory, he would have found some other way of letting you know you were worthwhile. The fact that you were a willing participant does not mean that you were not taken advantage of.
NOT CONFIDENTIAL TO MORT: Happy 59th anniversary, Darling. Thank you for making me the luckiest married woman alive.
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