DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and in high school. I would say I have a lot of friends, but very few do I consider real friends. You see, my "friends" like to tease me and call me fat.
Before this all started, I was fine with my appearance and thought I was a normal size. Now I look in the mirror and I'm disgusted with myself. I find myself not eating as much as I used to and thinking negative thoughts. Every time I try to tell them to stop, they make fun of me more.
My mom tells me to make new friends, but I have known them for so long and it's too hard to make new friends. Please tell me what to do. -- FEELING FAT IN CALI
DEAR FEELING FAT: The people you describe do not sound like "friends" to me. Friends don't ridicule each other, particularly when they are told it is hurtful.
Although the idea of making new friends may seem daunting, your mother is on the right track. It's time to involve yourself in activities that do not involve the kids you have been hanging out with -- a church group, volunteering, sports, dance classes, even a part-time job. All of these will help you meet new people, and once you do, I'm sure you will find friends. Almost anything would be better than those who are putting you down under the guise of "humor."
DEAR ABBY: You ask your readers to share their pet peeves with you. Well, here's mine: I cannot overemphasize how annoying it is when people try to send a fax and enter the number of the phone line.
I am an assistant in a busy office. At least three times a week someone will try to send a fax and dial our main office number by mistake. I answer the phones and hear the high-pitched BEEP. Once wouldn't be that big a deal, but often the sender has walked away from his or her fax machine and it redials again and again. It is annoying and a waste of my time.
Please advise people to first double-check to make sure they have the correct fax number, and second, not to walk away from the machine until they're certain the fax is going through. This should be common sense, but I see less and less common sense these days. Thanks, Abby. -- FRUSTRATED IN COLORADO
DEAR FRUSTRATED: I'm printing your letter, but there is no guarantee it will resolve your problems. Of course it makes sense to check the number one is calling or faxing, but from what I have observed, people are trying so hard these days to race through their work assignments, that mistakes keep piling up to the point where efficiency suffers. Maybe it's time to simply slow down and quit multitasking.
DEAR ABBY: At a business lunch or dinner, if one member at the table bows his or her head to say grace silently, what is the proper thing for the others at the table to do? Join in, wait silently or ignore the behavior? -- CHRISTY IN DENISON, IOWA
DEAR CHRISTY: The polite thing to do would be to wait for the person to finish. You are under no obligation to join in if you prefer not to.
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