DEAR ABBY: This is embarrassing to say, but yesterday my sister wanted to go tanning, so our neighbor's father took us. After she got out of the car, he started to touch me inappropriately and say nasty things.
I told him to stop and that I didn't like it, but he kept on. Should I tell the police? Or my old social worker? I don't know what to do. My sister and I stay home a lot because our parents work, and I'm afraid he'll do something worse.
Please don't print my name or location. I don't want my parents to know just yet. I'm 20 and don't know how the law works for this type of assault. This is considered an assault, right? Please answer soon. -- SCARED ON THE EAST COAST
DEAR SCARED: No one has the right to put his hands on you without your permission! While what your neighbor's father did may not have been an assault, it could be considered sexual battery. You should definitely inform your social worker right away. A man who would do this to you is completely capable of doing it to a minor. Your social worker will know how to handle the details.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend was laid off 11 months ago and hasn't been able to find another job since. My problem is, he isn't seriously looking for one. Every time I suggest he get one he becomes angry, or if I suggest a specific job he gives me some reason why he won't take it -- such as the pay is too low. He has no college education and no other formal schooling. What does he expect?
I love him, and other than this our relationship is pretty great. But lately this is causing a major strain because I want more for him. I hold two jobs and will be continuing my B.S. in psychology next year. I have tried being nice, being rude, and discussing it with him. He just doesn't "get" that I'm losing respect for the man I once admired. How can I make him see he needs to do more with his life than collect unemployment? -- STRIVING HIGHER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR STRIVING HIGHER: With today's job market what it is, it's possible that without further training your boyfriend may not be able to find another job that offers the same wages and/or benefits as the one he lost. Remind him that his unemployment benefits are finite -- they're not going to last forever.
He needs to understand that when that happens, you are not going to support him. He may be depressed, but the longer he sits around, the longer it'll take him to become motivated. Even if he can't find work right now, he can seek further job training. He can also do volunteer work, which would get him out and circulating and help him to make more contacts that could lead to permanent employment.
DEAR ABBY: Let's say you made arrangements with a friend and then forgot about them, so you made other arrangements with someone else. When you discover your mistake, should you honor the first commitment? -- NEEDS AN ANSWER SOON
DEAR NEEDS AN ANSWER: Yes, you should. To cancel the original plans would be rude. And when you make other arrangements with the "someone else," you should apologize and explain that you had previous plans.
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