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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Is Fired Up After Son Is Stood Up by His Date

DEAR ABBY: My son, "Peter," is in college working on a postgraduate degree. He arranged a date with a young woman while they were home over the holidays. After accepting the first date and breaking it, she agreed to a second one. As Peter was driving to pick her up, he called to double-check her address only to be told she was still at a previous engagement. Naturally, Peter expected she'd call back when she was free -- but she didn't. There was no explanation, no call or text or any further communication.

What is happening to young people today? Do texting and online social networking encourage them to avoid simple human kindness and consideration of others? I think these new devices are giving kids an easy way to get out of difficult and uncomfortable situations. They don't have to hear the hurt of rejection or the sting of their rudeness through a text or a chat page.

Meanwhile, my thoughtful, sensitive son sat home thinking he wasn't important enough for an explanation! At 26 he's beginning to think he should just focus on finishing school and forget the dating scene. And if this is the caliber of today's young women, maybe he should! -- MOTHER OF A GOOD SON

DEAR MOTHER: Your son may be thoughtful and sensitive, but he appears to have unfortunate taste in women. You say he is working on a postgraduate degree? How old was the girl -- because she appears to have the emotional maturity of a young teenager. Nobody likes rejection, but Peter should consider the source. Rather than giving up on dating, he should look for company among women who are at his intellectual and emotional level -- in college or grad school or perhaps a little older.