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DEAR ABBY: I am 12, and people say I am cute. My problem is, I want boys to like me for who I am, not because I have a big bust. I hate it. How can I make boys realize that I am much more than that? -- DARLENE IN DALLAS

DEAR DARLENE: It may not be easy, because in our society it is normal for boys your age -- and older -- to fixate on a woman's "physical assets." However, one way to accomplish it is by dressing to make your bust size less noticeable. Another way is to impress them with attributes you want them to notice -- your intelligence, your personality, or some other talent or special quality.

Please consider this: Your bust size may seem like a curse now, but it can also be an advantage because it will be obvious which men care only about that, and it will help you to weed out the undesirables.

DEAR ABBY: I am a part-time server at a nice restaurant. Recently a woman came in to have lunch with "Vic," the owner. Vic paid for the woman's lunch and tipped me before he left. The woman stayed longer and talked to me for a while. When she left, she handed me a small tip. I hesitated but felt she'd be offended if I refused.

Two weeks later, this woman saw me at my other job and said Vic told her he had tipped me. She then demanded her money back. I was horrified. I didn't have cash on me so I told her to stop by the restaurant later in the week. I said I would apologize to Vic, but she said she didn't want him to know.

I feel awful about taking her tip. I mentioned it to another employee, and she said I shouldn't feel bad because what this woman did was appalling. Was I wrong in taking the tip? -- SHOCKED SERVER IN AMERICA

DEAR SHOCKED: When the woman offered you the tip, you should have told her Vic had already taken care of it. However, for her to demand the money back was rude. Return the money and steer clear of her in the future.

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Curtis" for 10 years. His wife recently found out about us and blocked my number from his telephone. (As though that's going to stop us from talking!)

I see Curtis every day. Everyone knows, and some people think we're married. Curtis has been part of my life and my family for so long I can't imagine life without him.

I love Curtis and he loves me. It just seems like he doesn't want anything to change. I have tried to end the relationship, but Curtis keeps coming back. He says he is not in love with his wife and that he will leave if she runs him off. I'm so confused.

I love Curtis. I don't want to be without him. But I don't want to spend the rest of my life as the "other woman" either. If Curtis' wife is willing to put up with knowing the truth about us, should I stay with him? -- SECOND PLACE IN TENNESSEE

DEAR SECOND PLACE: Why should Curtis change anything? He has a wife who tolerates his straying and a honey on the side who believes anything he tells her. Do you really want someone who will be with you only by default?

You have already thrown away 10 years of your life on this addiction. Regardless of what his wife does, you should quit cold turkey.

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-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600

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