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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Years ago you gave me some good advice, and now I have a new issue I need help with. My sister, "Rhonda," and her husband -- both in their mid-50s -- will be visiting us again this summer. The last time they stayed, we caught them in our backyard smoking pot.

My husband and I were shocked and upset about it, and so were our teenage children. This was a violation of the rules in our home and set a poor example for our children, but I was too spineless to say anything.

I want to tell Rhonda and her husband before this next visit that drugs are absolutely not allowed on our property, but my mother wants me to remain silent because she's worried they'll stop visiting us unless I keep my mouth shut.

I want to see Rhonda, but not at the cost of compromising my principles. And I am confused and hurt that even my mother doesn't seem to care how I feel about how unacceptable this behavior is in my own home. Am I being unfair? Help! -- SPINELESS IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR SPINELESS: Your mother is wrong. It is not "unfair" to set standards in your home to teach your children the difference between right and wrong. If you don't speak up, your sister will assume -- and rightly so -- that you have no objection to her using an illegal substance on your property. What happened last year was unfortunate. But if you stay silent and it happens again, you will have no one to blame but yourself.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 15-year-old girl and a freshman in high school. My relationship with my mother is very good. I can talk to her about everything and anything.

My problem is she won't allow me to date as long as I live under her roof. She says teenagers are too young to date. I have recently developed feelings for a boy in a few of my classes, but I am prevented from pursuing a relationship with him. I feel sad and empty because of this.

My mother has no reason to keep me from dating other than her belief that I'm too young. I am a good kid and get straight A's. Friends tell me to date behind her back, which I don't believe in. Mom is very stubborn, but so am I. Any thoughts, Abby? -- JERSEY GIRL

DEAR JERSEY GIRL: Yes. A parent who prevents her daughter from dating as long as she lives under her mother's roof and expects that when she moves out -- presumably at 18 -- she will automatically be prepared for the dating scene, is delusional.

If your mother prefers that you not date one-on-one at 15, she should consider allowing you to go out in groups, as many teens do these days. Enlist the help of an adult female relative or one of her friends to intercede for you, and perhaps she'll relent.

DEAR ABBY: Why are some women so shallow that they won't date a man who is going bald? I mean, they do not even make the time to get to know us. They just turn us down.

Are there women out there who like men who are bald or getting there? -- SMOOTH-HEADED IN TAMPA, FLA.

DEAR SMOOTH-HEADED: Yes, there are. They're the smart ones. This would include Heidi Klum (who is married to Seal), Demi Moore (who was married for a number of years to Bruce Willis), Mrs. Howie Mandel, Mrs. Chris Daughtry -- and all the women who are chasing Tyson Beckford.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)