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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Wants to Date Younger Boy but Fears What Others May Say

DEAR ABBY: I am a teen-age girl, and there is this guy at my school. He asked me out on a date. I don't know what to say. I really want to go, but I'm afraid that my friends and others will make fun of us because he's a year younger than me.

And there is one more problem: He is my best friend's brother. I'm not sure -- but I "kinda know" -- how she's going to take it. But what should I do about my friends? I know my best friend is going to take it well, but I don't know how my other friends are going to take it.

So what should I do? Signed ... ONE OF YOUR FANS (MANDY)

P.S. I read your column every time it's in the paper.

DEAR MANDY: You must decide what's more important to you, pleasing yourself or pleasing your other friends. If the choice were mine and I was teased because I went out with someone a year younger, I would reply, "Well, I LIKE him, and I think he's very cute." There are times you have to stand up for what you believe in.