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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am 19, and I like a girl who is 16, "Cheri." My friends and family think we're dating, and now one of my teachers and the school officer think it is a problem that we are around each other. I asked Cheri's family if it was OK with them if I asked her out. Knowing how old I am, they approved.

My mom says I can be arrested for statutory rape when all I did was give her a kiss on her cheek, and Cheri was fine with it. I really like her and she means the world to me. Is there anything I can use in my defense to prove that we didn't do anything wrong? -- ON A SLIPPERY SLOPE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR SLIPPERY: I don't think anyone is accusing you of having done anything "wrong." When young men and women are attracted to each other, the relationship rarely stays static. The concern may be that an innocent kiss on the cheek may lead to something more.

That your friend's parents approve of you seeing their daughter is a plus. However, if you become sexually involved with their daughter, their feelings could easily change. While you might not be in trouble with the law in New Hampshire -- which may calm your mother's fears -- the age of consent isn't the same in every state.

Read more in: Teens | Love & Dating

Wedding Dress Tradition May Be Thing Of The Past

DEAR ABBY: I was married 13 years ago, and we have a son and a daughter. Sadly, my husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore and we divorced five years ago. My parents also divorced when I was young, and I did not use my mother's dress.

I am trying to move on from the divorce and I would like to sell the dress, which has been professionally preserved. My ex remarried, and I'm concerned his new wife may decide to pass on her dress to my daughter. Do mothers still pass down wedding dresses to their daughters? -- FORMER BRIDE IN NEW YORK

DEAR FORMER: Not every young woman wants to wear her mother's or grandmother's wedding dress. Their tastes may be different, and there could also be the reality that the sizes may be different. If selling the dress will help you to move on, then by all means do so.

And, please, don't waste your time worrying about whether the new wife will steal your thunder by offering your daughter her bridal gown. For the reasons stated above, she might very well refuse it.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting

Relative's Life Is An Open Facebook

DEAR ABBY: I have a family member who does not "have time" to contact, by phone or email, those near and dear to him and tell us what's happening in his life. (If one goes to Facebook, we see our family member posts every personal detail of his life.)

Is this the new communication? Should we accept this and run to look at Facebook every time we want to know what's happening in our loved one's life? -- LEFT BEHIND IN THE REAL WORLD

DEAR LEFT BEHIND: Yes, it is, so you might as well accept it. Be glad you are computer-savvy enough to know how to find his postings, because it's unlikely your loved one will change.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Etiquette & Ethics

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