DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend is pressuring me to take his camera cell phone with me into the girls' locker room and take pictures of the other girls with little or nothing on. He says it has always been a "fantasy" of his, and that if I really love him I'll help him fulfill his fantasy.
He promises to keep the pictures secret and says that what the other girls don't know won't hurt them. He offered to do the same for me and take pictures in the boys' locker room, but I'm not interested. I know it would be wrong to do it, and I wouldn't want someone secretly taking pictures of me.
He hinted that if I refuse he will look for another girl who will. I'm scared of losing him because I'm not much to look at, and he's the only boy who has ever shown any interest in me. I know you're not going to tell me to go ahead and do this, so I'm not sure why I'm writing, but I would appreciate any advice you can give me. -- DON'T WANT TO LOSE HIM IN THE U.S.A.
DEAR DON'T WANT TO LOSE HIM: I'm glad you wrote. If you do what this boy is pushing you to do, you could be thrown out of school. He will not be able to resist the urge to show the pictures to his friends -- and possibly put them on the Internet. It would be a huge invasion of privacy and a breach of trust, and regardless of what he says, it will NOT bring you closer together.
If he truly cared about you, he would never ask you to do something that could get you into serious trouble. You could be accused of creating and distributing pornographic material, and there could be legal liability. The penalty you would pay isn't worth the "interest" he's showing in you. Run!
DEAR ABBY: Two friends and I recently went on a trip together. While on the trip, one of them told me she knows how old I am because she looked it up online. My reply was that a friend would ask me for that kind of information, and if I didn't want to reveal my age she would respect my wishes.
Abby, I wonder about her reason for letting me know she was looking up information about me on the Internet. Am I wrong to be upset over it? Her response was that "everyone" does it, and because I was offended she will no longer speak to me. Did I overreact? -- AGELESS TEXAN
DEAR AGELESS TEXAN: (Or should I say "formerly" ageless?) If the subject of your age came up during the trip and you expressed reluctance to reveal yours, then what the woman did was one-up you. That she would then imply that you were "wrong" to feel invaded and to no longer speak to you is her attempt to blame you for your very normal reaction.
That said, along with the "blessing" of the Internet has come the sobering reality that there are enormous amounts of information about all of us on it (some true, some not), and that anyone who is curious or nosy can mine it to his or her heart's content -- which is what happened to you. And no, you did not overreact.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have had a long-standing disagreement. Her family leaves the price tags on all gifts. This has caused our children to expect that I spend the same amount on them for Christmas and birthdays. I feel they have become materialistic and have lost the meaning behind the gifts. My family never left the price tags on, and I feel that doing so is tacky. What's your opinion? -- $$$ IN HAMMOND, ILL.
DEAR $$$: I agree with you. Leaving the price tag on a gift IS tacky.
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