DEAR ABBY: I was invited to my first prom yesterday. The boy is a senior and the son of a friend of my mom's.
We have a lot in common. We have been friends for years and compete against each other in academics. The problem is, he asked a close friend of mine to go to the prom last week, and he did it right in front of me.
My friends, including the girl who said no, keep telling me he really does like me, even though I was apparently his second choice. The trouble is, I already said yes and I don't want to go back on my word. How do I keep myself from feeling like a consolation prize? -- SECOND BEST
DEAR S.B.: The boy who asked you to the prom wants to have a good time. As you said, you are friendly and have a lot in common. Please don't let the fact that he asked your friend first get in your way. It's not a contest for anyone's affection; it's only a dance.
DEAR ABBY: I met an amazing lady. She's beautiful, sexy, charming, attentive, classy, smart and conservative. In short, she is almost everything a good man would ask for in a woman except for one thing -- she's a tad clingy, and in some instances, it is annoying.
I'm the type of guy who loves my space. She seems to respect it, but gets a little down when I decline an offer to spend time. To avoid hurting or offending her, I sometimes just do whatever will make her happy, although it feels like a chore. Don't get me wrong, I'm physically and mentally attracted to her, but I'm not sure about the emotional part.
The more I feel I'm forcing myself to spend time with her, the more I lose interest. I know this is cliche, but I honestly feel that it's not her, it's me. Am I just not ready to settle down? -- LIKES MY SPACE
DEAR LIKES: That's what it sounds like to me. And that's what you should tell the lady, because someone with all the wonderful qualities you attribute to her won't be alone and heartbroken for long. In fact, if she knew that you feel you must "force" yourself to be with her, your relationship would already be history.
DEAR ABBY: In June of last year I fractured my kneecap. I was employed at the time and asked my daughter to fill in for me while I recuperated. Not only did she walk away from the job, she has yet to visit or even call me to see how I am doing.
I can't imagine anyone being so cold and distant. It hurts me to this day. How can I get past this hurt and disappointment? -- STILL HURTING IN PALM DESERT
DEAR STILL HURTING: I can't imagine anyone being so cold and distant -- not to mention irresponsible -- unless there were unresolved issues between the two of you before you hurt your knee, or your daughter has emotional problems.
How do you get past something as painful as this wake-up call has been? The first option would be to try to understand what has caused your daughter to act the way she has. Another would be to fill your days with enough activities that you don't have time to dwell on it.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)