DEAR ABBY: I'm 20 years old. My boyfriend and I don't drink. Almost every person my age does, and it's starting to get to me. I'd love to have friends besides my boyfriend I can hang out with, but I find that I only connect with him because everyone else always wants to go out and party. He is an introvert, so the seclusion doesn't bother him. I, on the other hand, am greatly bothered by it.
I have always been ahead of the curve in terms of people my age. I have more in common with 30-year-olds than people in college. Unfortunately, I would feel weird spending time with 30-year-olds, and I'm sure they'd feel the same about spending time with me. Most of my spare time is spent with my family. They just seem to get me.
How can I find people my age who think the way I do? I don't want to be the kind of girl who only spends time with her boyfriend. I would appreciate other relationships. -- LIZ IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR LIZ: I agree that it's time to expand your circle of acquaintances. That's why I'm advising you to join a gym or some other physical activity group and start meeting people who are involved in physical fitness. None of the ones I know want to spend their time drinking and partying because they are more interested in eating and living healthfully. I'm sure if you try it, you will meet others who think the way you do.
DEAR ABBY: I am 15, and all of my friends my age and a grade lower have their belly buttons pierced. I have been asking my mom for a very long time and she doesn't have a problem with it, but my dad does. He won't let me get it done because he doesn't want me looking like trash at this age.
I don't want it to impress boys; I want it for my own beauty and to look good with a cute jewel to go with my summer outfits or bathing suits. They said to ask you if you think it's wrong to have a belly button pierced at the age of 15. Is it wrong? -- KYLIE IN WASHINGTON
DEAR KYLIE: I don't think that having a belly button pierced is a question of right or wrong. I suspect that your father's objection -- and I'm not sure I disagree with him -- is that he would prefer you make an impression by attracting attention in some other way. I'm suggesting you hold off for now and have it done when you're older -- providing you haven't changed your mind by then.
DEAR ABBY: 1. What do you call a person who is neither a morning lark nor a night owl? (That's me.)
2. What do you call someone who is neither a giver nor a taker? (That's me, too.)
Your answers will help me win a delicious meal! -- INQUISITIVE IN OTTAWA
DEAR INQUISITIVE: A person who is neither a lark nor a night owl is called a robin. Someone who is neither a giver nor a taker is probably a loner.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)