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by Abigail Van Buren

Stranger's Kindness Touches Woman During Son's Illness

DEAR ABBY: I'm 15 and I detest my best friend's boyfriend, "Chip." He is racist, homophobic and sexist. He is also blatant about his opinions, whether or not people want to hear them. All of "Sadie's" other friends agree he's a complete jerk, and not only that, he takes up all her time.

Sadie is smart. She realizes Chip has those traits. Somehow she doesn't care about his defects and looks past them. I'm not really scared for her safety. Chip seems to be nice to her.

I can't stand to be around the guy, but that means I don't get to talk to my best friend most of the time. I am trying to be nice to Chip, and I have talked to Sadie about this, but nothing works! Please help. I'm at the end of my rope. -- DIVIDED FRIEND IN SANTA CRUZ, CALIF.

DEAR DIVIDED FRIEND: Accept the fact that your friend is distracted right now, and concentrate on your relationship with the other girls in your group. You might be able to arrange some alone time with Sadie if you invite her for a sleepover once in a while -- but understand that her main focus is on her boyfriend. Until Sadie realizes for herself that Chip's attitude and behavior are an embarrassment and a reflection on her, this situation won't change.