DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old-daughter, "Olympia," is a beautiful, intelligent young woman who graduated from high school last spring, was accepted to two universities and started her first job. When she lost it recently, she was devastated. Instead of trying to find another one, she decided to turn to prostitution. When I asked her why, she said she doesn't want to work her butt off for peanuts.
Other family members and I have tried to make Olympia see reason, but she's determined to do this. I am extremely frustrated with her decision. I have warned her about the dangers she'll face in that "occupation." I know she's of age now and needs to make her own choices, but I'm afraid for her and don't want to lose her if we have a huge argument over this. What can I do? -- ANXIOUS MOM IN SACRAMENTO
DEAR ANXIOUS MOM: For an "adult," your daughter's decision-making leaves a lot to be desired. Prostitution is illegal. It's not a viable career option. Is she aware that her "line of work" offers no job security and the benefits will last only as long as her looks hold up?
Regardless of the argument that may ensue, let her know that although you love her, you are worried sick about her, and disappointed and furious at her poor judgment because she has far more to offer than what she's selling. Warn her she's heading down a path that's hard to come back from. If she won't change her mind, then you must accept that your daughter will have to learn her lessons the hard way. But let her know your door will be open to her.
DEAR ABBY: Are you supposed to ignore an acquaintance when you notice she's in a doctor's waiting room with you? (Especially if it's a specialist's office that makes a particular condition obvious to an otherwise non-privy person?)
This has happened to me twice recently. One time, I avoided the acquaintance; the other, I broke the silence and said, "Is that you, So-and-So?" Both times it was awkward. I can understand why someone wouldn't want to be seen at certain doctors' offices. Should I have played dumb? -- STRIVING FOR DISCRETION IN NEW YORK
DEAR STRIVING: No, you should not have "played dumb." In the future, you should acknowledge your acquaintance, but refrain from asking questions. Any questions, including, "How are you?"
DEAR ABBY: I'm being married in a few months and there's still so much to do. The only thing I have decided so far is the date and location. I have gotten so stressed that I have actually passed out.
I keep asking my fiance to help me with decisions and particulars for the wedding, but he says, "It's your job. You're the bride." Then he continues his lazy ways around the house. How do I get him to help me plan our wedding? -- BRIDE IN A PANIC
DEAR BRIDE: How do I get you to realize you can't change your fiance, and that this is the man he will be after your wedding? If you manage to pull this event together by yourself, you will still have a husband who is lazy around the house and refuses to help you even when you become so stressed that you pass out.
Your fiance isn't the last man on planet Earth. If he doesn't have any good qualities -- you mentioned none -- you can do better than this.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)