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by Abigail Van Buren

Student Needs a Crash Course in Recognizing Teen Romeos

DEAR ABBY: We just moved into a new neighborhood and a cute little boy came to our door selling coupon books. My husband answered the door and was nice to the boy, but told him we weren't interested in buying the book. The child hung his head and walked away slowly.

As the days have gone by, we feel bad about not buying the book from him, but we didn't need or want it. I found out he and his family live two doors down, and it is uncomfortable as we drive by their house. They never wave or acknowledge us, nor have they ever come down to introduce themselves or say hello.

Should we apologize to our neighbors for making their son feel bad, or should we just let it go? -- ASHAMED IN HOUSTON

DEAR ASHAMED: I see no reason for you to apologize for not buying the coupon book. The books are not helpful for everyone. By offering them for sale, the boy is getting sales and life experience, and learning that when someone refuses an offer, the "rejection" isn't personal; it's part of the process. Rather than apologize, why not go to the parents and introduce yourselves? I can't imagine they'd be holding a grudge over something so petty.