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by Abigail Van Buren

Contest Invites Communities to Improve Disabled Access

DEAR ABBY: I am 16 and attending summer school. My sister, "Maria," is a year older than me. She's new to our school because she just moved here to live with our mom and me. (She was living with Dad, but he kicked her out.)

Since the day Maria set foot on campus, every guy here is after her -- and I know why. She wears skimpy clothes and has a big chest.

Now every boy I like ends up liking Maria instead of me. I'm sick of it. There's only so much a person can take, and I've reached my limit. Do you have any advice for me, Abby? -- EXASPERATED IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR EXASPERATED: I'll begin with some words for your mother, because she is the person who is going to have to deal with your sister. There is a time and a place for everything. Maria is crying out for attention, but she's getting the wrong kind -- and unless there is intervention, she'll wind up in trouble. Your mother should make it her business to find out what is proper attire at your school and enforce the dress code.

Now, some advice for you: Sibling rivalry is normal -- the attention your sister is attracting is transitory. Concentrate on your grades and on activities at which you can excel. That way, you'll be an outstanding individual in your own right and not just "somebody's sister." Trust me, it'll pay off in the end.

P.S. Please clip this column and show it to your mom.