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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Last March you printed a letter I wrote. In it, I told you I had expressed my desire to become the first female U.S. president, but my teacher and fellow students laughed at me.

Since writing to you, I have received a flood of support from friends, Dear Abby readers and you, yourself. But wait, there is more! I received a letter from Sen. John Kerry, and just recently, one from the White House signed by President Bush.

The fact that I received a response to my letter from that high up on the ladder of life has inspired me. I feel that I can now follow my dreams and help other young women my age to believe that they, too, can do whatever they want if they just trust themselves.

I have included a copy of what President Bush had to say, in case you want to print it, Abby. And thank you for your help. -- MARTA IN MARYLAND

DEAR MARTA: Thank you for the update, and for granting me permission to print the letter you received from President Bush. (I printed Sen. Kerry's letter last May.) That he would take time from his campaign schedule to offer you his support shows his belief in young people like yourself, who, in the years to come, will determine the future of our country. Read on:

"Dear Marta: I recently learned about your desire to be president of the United States.

"America is a great country, where people can dream big and achieve their full potential through hard work and determination. I encourage you to continue setting high goals, studying hard and helping others.

"The lessons you learn now will help you develop the character and values you need to succeed in life and become a responsible leader.

"Your idealism, hope and energy reflect the spirit of America and can help to build a better future for all our citizens.

"Mrs. Bush and I send our best wishes. May God bless you, and may God continue to bless America.

"Sincerely, George W. Bush"

DEAR ABBY: I cannot stand it when people drop in unannounced! My mother is the biggest offender. If our door isn't locked, she walks right in without knocking. My husband and I work hard all week and look forward to peace and quiet on weekends. It's disruptive when she "pops in" -- and she often stays for hours.

How can I tell her to call us before coming over? We have tried not answering the door, and even throwing on our coats like we were just leaving so she'll leave. I am so angry I can't even begin to think of a polite way to tell her to stop. -- SICK OF IT IN EAU CLAIRE, WIS.

DEAR SICK OF IT: I don't blame you for being angry, but you are placing the blame where it doesn't belong. Your mother isn't to blame for this situation -- you are.

Your mother may have no idea that you're so angry at her that you're ready to explode. Say something to her before you do. Tell your mother politely that you and your husband work hard all week and are not always prepared to entertain her on weekends. Explain that you and your husband would appreciate it if she called and arranged her visits in advance rather then dropping over. Then, if she persists, find the backbone to inform her that her visit is not convenient. Until you have the courage to act like an adult, she will continue to treat you like a child.

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.)

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