DEAR ABBY: I have a 12-year-old daughter who keeps telling me she knows Santa isn't real. "Angela" is an only child, so we don't have a younger child to worry about carrying on the tradition.
I keep telling her that I believe, and as long as she believes, Santa will come. Angela went so far this year to tell me that she won't write a letter to Santa to prove her point. I guess I have a problem admitting to my daughter that her father and I haven't been truthful all these years. I would love some advice on how to handle this. -- I BELIEVE, IN NAVARRE, FLA.
DEAR I BELIEVE: The jig is up. You're no longer fooling your daughter. By not leveling with her, the message you have been sending is that if she wants straight answers, she will have to go elsewhere to find them. Sit Angela down and explain that the spirit of Santa is embodied by loving parents who want their children to experience the wonder of the holiday as well as the pleasures it brings.
P.S. And if you haven't done so already, recant the story you probably told her about the stork.
DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for three years. I have started seeing a truck driver I'll call Ted. His job keeps him away from me a lot of the time. I'm used to being by myself, so it doesn't bother me that much. Ted calls and texts me all day, so the communication is there.
My family is telling me it will never work because I need someone with me in the evenings -- like my ex was. I say it will work because I'm used to being by myself now. Ted and I have a lot in common.
I guess what I'm asking is, should I pay attention to what my family is saying or tell them to mind their own business? -- OK BY MYSELF IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR OK: Constant togetherness is no guarantee that a marriage will be successful. If it was, you wouldn't be divorced from your "ever-present" ex. When choosing a partner it is important to listen to both your heart and your head.
Continue the relationship and see how it plays out. Tell your family you appreciate their concern, but this is something you must decide for yourself. "Mind your own business" seems a bit harsh.
DEAR ABBY: I see a very skeletal woman every day at my gym. She does an hour on the sit-up machine. Her stomach sticks out like a person suffering from starvation. It hurts to look at her.
I feel I have a moral obligation to do or say something in case she is suffering from anorexia. However, I would not feel obligated to say anything to an obese woman at the gym. I am also afraid this person may have another condition that is causing her to waste away.
How should I offer support to her? Or should I just ignore her like the other people at the gym do? -- WORKING OUT WITH MY EYES OPEN
DEAR WORKING OUT: If you would like to reach out to her, be friendly, but do not comment on her appearance. As you get to know each other you will learn more about her condition -- if she has one. If you say anything right off the bat, it could be considered rude, nosy or insensitive, so I don't recommend it.
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