DEAR ABBY: I am not sure how to handle my boyfriend's hair loss. "Jasper" is 34 and I'm 23. We have been dating for two years and have a wonderful relationship. We are completely open to each other, and because of that, I feel backed into a corner regarding this subject.
Hair loss is such a tricky topic. Women aren't supposed to care, but in reality we do -- unless you're one of those rare women who enjoy bald heads. (I'm not one of them.) Although Jasper's hair loss is barely noticeable now, without some sort of plan it will probably take over in a few years.
Jasper is self-conscious about his thinning hair. I can tell he's worried, but he doesn't want to do anything about it. I care more about Jasper's feelings than his hair, so I haven't let him know how much it bothers me, although he asks me often.
His type of hair loss is treatable. I find him very attractive now, but I don't know how I will feel when he's bald, and I'm sort of cringing inside about it. I feel like a daily ritual would not be too much to ask of someone.
I'm fed up with hearing, "If you love him, let him be" because my attraction to him is an important part of our lives. What should I do? -- TIRED OF SITTING ON MY HANDS
DEAR TIRED: Most women are not so fixated on "what's on top" that they fail to value what's underneath. While some hair loss is treatable with a "daily ritual," some is not. The kind that isn't can be successfully treated with a hair transplant -- if the candidate is eligible, and if it is done by a talented, qualified surgeon.
Whether Jasper is willing to endure the discomfort or the inconvenience is anyone's guess. In fact, he might prefer to find a woman who is less hung up on hair than you. Frankly, I'm betting he wouldn't have to look too "fur."
DEAR ABBY: Please help me. I am a 24-year-old daughter who works with my father in a small company. We weren't close until I reached college age. Since I have been working with him, we have grown much closer.
I love my parents dearly. However, Dad has an addictive personality. He has smoked, drunk and gambled in the past, but overcame these issues. Dad had an alcohol relapse a few years ago. Mama found him drunk. She hid it from my sister and me, but later told me in confidence. She said if he ever did it again, she might leave him.
Our business is having a rough time, and I found a stash of alcohol in Dad's office. I know it can be no one else's. I don't want to ruin his marriage, nor do I want to lie by omission to Mama. Should I confront him, or let it play out and pretend I didn't know?
I'd be devastated if they divorced. My sister is still in school. This is difficult since he's my dad AND my boss. Any direction would be greatly appreciated. -- DAUGHTER WHO KNOWS TOO MUCH
DEAR DAUGHTER: Tell your father you found his stash and urge him to get back into his program immediately. Give him a deadline to do it AND to tell your mother. If he doesn't, then you must. She has a right to know, and if you remain silent, you will only enable your father to continue drinking.
For your own emotional health, please do not allow yourself to be in the middle. I have mentioned Al-Anon so often I'm beginning to feel like an echo chamber. So allow me to mention another group that may be helpful. It's Adult Children of Alcoholics World Service Organization, a 12-step program for individuals with whom I guarantee you'll find much in common. Its Web site is www.adultchildren.org.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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