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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am an 11-year-old Muslim girl who is a faithful reader of your column. It has helped me remember that I'm not the only one with problems. Here's mine:

It seems like no boy has ever liked me because I wear a scarf. The fact that no guy has ever liked me really hurts, even though it's against my religion to have boyfriends or go out on dates.

Guys never like me -- even as a friend. I know you're thinking that boys my age are sometimes afraid to approach girls, but it's not like that. This is bothering me something awful, Abby. Please help. -- SAD AND HURT IN FALL CHURCH, VA.

DEAR SAD AND HURT: Speak to your parents or your religious leader about your feelings. You're not the only girl who has ever felt this way. Sometimes it's hard to be different -- yet that's what makes all of us mature as individuals.

When the time comes, the right young man will be mature enough to see the person underneath the scarf. Trust me!

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend, "Jenny," and I became engaged on New Year's Day. We've been together for four years, and both have children from previous marriages. Jenny has three daughters, and I have a son and a daughter. All five are grown and in college or settled down with careers and families of their own.

I immediately shared our engagement news with my side of the family. Everyone was excited and eager to know the wedding date. Trouble is, Jenny and I haven't yet picked a date, due to the fact that she hasn't told any of her family -- including her daughters.

Since they all live out of state, none of her family would have any idea about our engagement unless they're told. Jenny's reluctance to share our "happy news" makes me wonder what she has to hide. Your opinion would be appreciated, Abby. -- STILL SINGLE IN SEATTLE

DEAR SINGLE: She's hiding you, honey! If your fiancee hasn't notified her family by June, I urge you to rethink the engagement.

DEAR ABBY: One of my co-workers, "Doug," brought one of his active children into my office. One kid jumped on my chair and broke it. It doesn't belong to the company -- it's my personal chair. I have a disability and need something more comfortable than my office chair. Doug tried to glue it back together, but unfortunately, it didn't hold.

I have hinted that I am going to have to replace my chair. Doug has not offered to pay for it. Although I know it was an accident, I'm upset about it. The replacement cost of the chair is $100, but I bought it two years ago, and would be willing to take $50.

How should I handle this without damaging my friendship with Doug? -- CHAIRLESS IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR CHAIRLESS: Buy a new chair and ask your co-worker to pay half the bill. Then purchase a sturdy lock for your office door -- and use it.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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