DEAR ABBY: I am 11. My mom is engaged to a man who I think is a wonderful person, but she always questions whether he's cheating on her. She's 37. Personally, I think she won't get another chance like this. Their wedding has been postponed three times because she thinks he's lying to her.
I don't think she realizes what she's got. When I ask her if everything is OK between them, she says, "Everything is fine, and if it wasn't, it would be too complicated for you to understand." I just want them to live happily together. What should I do? -- OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW IN ALABAMA
DEAR OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW: You may be old enough to know, but if your mom doesn't feel comfortable sharing certain personal information with you, that should be her privilege. Her suspicions may be the result of having been hurt in past relationships, or she may have caught her fiance being less than truthful at some point.
Your mother should not marry anyone -- regardless of how great a catch he may seem to you -- unless she is certain she can trust him. The fact that their wedding has been postponed three times sends me a message that she thinks she has reason for concern in that department.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and want to have my ear pierced a second time. Despite my mother's reluctance, she took me to get my ears pierced when I was 9. My friends have all gotten multiple ear piercings. All I want is to get the cartilage on my right ear pierced, but Mom and Dad refuse.
Mom says that any piercing other than one in each ear looks "trashy" and people will think unfavorably of me. I don't see the big deal. It's not like I want my nose or navel pierced. I just want one little stud, and I'd pay for it myself.
I'm a respectful and honest girl. I have always brought home good grades. Mom says I'll have to wait until I'm 18 and out of her house. I don't understand why she won't let me get this done. My best friend's mother, who is stricter than mine, let her get her cartilage pierced. What do you think? -- NOT ASKING FOR MUCH IN ILLINOIS
DEAR NOT ASKING FOR MUCH: I think that as a minor living in your parents' house, you should obey their rules. If you want to get multiple piercings in your ears when you're 18 and on your own, the choice will be yours. But until then, respect your mother's wishes. "Because everyone else is doing it" is not a valid reason for doing anything.
DEAR ABBY: I enjoy theater very much, but can't afford to attend all the performances I would like, so I work at my local theater every week. In exchange, I am "paid" in tickets. The ticket prices are generally $60 and up, so it's a win/win for both the theater and for me.
My question is, when I invite a friend to use the extra ticket, is it unreasonable to expect him or her to drive and pay for the treat at intermission? The ticket was not "free" to me -- I worked for it. Or, because I issued the invitation, am I responsible for the entire evening? -- THEATER LOVER IN ATLANTA
DEAR THEATER LOVER: If you're treating someone to an evening at the theater, it would certainly be gracious of your guest to offer to reciprocate in some way. However, because your friends don't have ESP, this is a subject you should raise at the time you issue the invitation.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)