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by Abigail Van Buren

White Collar Woman Keeps Her Blue Collar Beau Under Wraps

DEAR ABBY: I am a young, single mother of two girls. I work full time and I'm involved in my daughters' lives. I go to all their school functions, coach their soccer team, serve as the Cookie Mom for Girl Scouts and volunteer for anything else I can manage to squeeze into my schedule, but I have a hard time making friends with any other moms.

None of the other mothers wants to get to know me. I wait at the bus stop with my girls and the moms talk to each other, but not to me. I get a weird "vibe" from them, as if they think I'm too young to know anything. I try to join in, but it seems they really don't care for me.

I have friends my age, but they don't have children. I want friends who have families because they face the same kind of issues I do. What can I do to make these moms like me? -- FRIEND-CHALLENGED IN CYPRESS, TEXAS

DEAR FRIEND-CHALLENGED: There is no way to "make" someone like you, and if a clique has already been established, it can be difficult to break in. It is possible that because of your youth and single status you are perceived as a threat to them -- but I do have a suggestion, and your youth can be an advantage. Start asking them for advice, and it's possible they may take you under their collective wing.