DEAR ABBY: I'm in a pickle. I have three very good male friends in my life whom I care for. "One" lives out of state, while "Two" and "Three" live nearby. I spend a great deal of time with the two local men -- separately, of course. They know about each other, but have never met.
Lately there seems to be a contest going on to see who gets to "keep me"! I enjoy going out with both of these two guys and don't like the idea of being considered "territory." I've never promised either of them anything and have never lied to them or led them on.
The man I HAVE promised something to is "One," who lives far away. He knows I go out and have fun with the other two guys, but says he doesn't mind because they're "just friends."
My dilemma is that both of the locals want to move in with me. I've so much as said it's not possible, but each is persistent. Every day I feel worse about this situation and have no idea how to get out of it.
Abby, I'm not using anyone, if that's what you are thinking. We always split the cost of meals, movie tickets, etc. I intend to remain loyal to "One," but all I want right now is a guy to have around to go out with or cuddle up with and watch a movie on TV. Help! -- UP A CREEK IN A SINKING BOAT
DEAR UP A CREEK: You may not think you are using anyone, but the two local fellows you are seeing might not agree. If you are "cuddling" with them, I can understand why they would want more. They have formed a romantic attachment with you because they think you're available and are interested in them.
The honorable thing to do is to tell them that your heart belongs to "One" and let them find someone who is available. Form some friendships with women so you won't be lonely while waiting for your "one and only" to return.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl. I have a nice family, except for one thing. Every once in a while, my grandmother, "Nanie," on my father's side, wants me to spend one or two nights at her house. The problem is, our personalities clash. I like sports, playing in the school band, etc. She wants me to learn how to sew, cook, grow vegetables and play canasta. She fusses over me and bothers me no end.
I recently wiggled out of one of those overnights, and my father and Nanie smelled a rat. If I tell my father how I feel, he will get angry. (My mother is playing neutral.)
I really do love Nanie a lot. She's old and sensitive, and I don't want to hurt her feelings -- or my Dad's -- or create a family rift. Abby, can you think of a way to tell Nanie to stop treating me like a 9-year-old? -- GETTING MATURE IN TEXAS
DEAR GETTING MATURE: Maturity is a process of growth, and both you and Nanie need to learn the art of compromise together. Learning to sew, cook and maintain a garden are handy and practical skills. But in return, your grandmother should cheer you on in your athletic competitions and applaud when you march with the band.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600