DEAR ABBY: I'm a single woman in my late 30s and have an 18-year-old daughter. When I am alone or out with my girlfriends, I am constantly hit on by younger men. My girlfriends say it's because I don't look my age and that I should feel flattered. Well, I am not a "cougar," and I don't get turned on by younger men. I find it offensive when I am approached by them.
While my single friends are being asked on romantic dates by professional older men, I'm being asked on dates by struggling college boys who have no car, no job and cramped living quarters with three other roommates. Give me a break!
It has reached the point that I just pretend to be married. But it's starting to bother me that mature men don't find me attractive. I have stopped wanting to go out because of this. What should I do? -- IN A FUNK IN FRESNO
DEAR IN A FUNK: Where's your sense of humor? Instead of telling these young men you're married, why not tell them something closer to the truth -- that you're old enough to be their mother and ask if they happen to have a single uncle.
Seriously, if the only men who pay attention to you are men in their early 20s, your problem may be the way you're packaging the product you're trying to sell. Your makeup, hairstyle and attire may send the wrong message, and that's why men in your target demographic aren't showing an interest. Talk to your friends about this and see what they have to offer.
DEAR ABBY: I have a stressful job but do not work "regular" hours. I also care for my aged mother, which is like having another job. Because of this, I have little time to myself or to relax. During warm weather I enjoy taking an occasional break on my back deck, whether reading materials for work, enjoying a novel or catching a quick nap. Frequently, I'll transact business on my cellphone.
Anytime my neighbor sees me sitting on my deck, he'll come out of his house. He thinks it's funny to say things like, "Boy, I wish I could be like you and not have to work," or "Must be nice to just sit around."
The first few times it was funny, but I no longer find it humorous -- especially when I'm stressed out about work or my mother. Yesterday I warned him, "Don't go there!"
How can I nicely let my neighbor know his joke is now stale and no longer appropriate? With all the pressure I'm under, he's making even a quick break stressful. -- BEHIND THE 8-BALL IN OHIO
DEAR BEHIND THE 8-BALL: Your neighbor may be a tad jealous of what he perceives as all your free time, or he may be a one-joke wonder who's trying to be friendly. But the nicest and most direct way to get your message across would be to explain that you're not only working from home, but also caring for your mother -- and when you take these breaks, solitude is necessary.
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