DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Aidan," and I have been dating for three months. I want to tell my parents, but I don't know how. They say I'm too young and immature to date. I'll be 16 in five months. They say Aidan is obsessed with me and they don't want me staying in an unhealthy relationship.
My parents think I'm not talking to Aidan, but I really am. I want to show them I'm mature enough for a relationship. All they keep saying is I need to be "realistic" and "respectful." I'm more respectful than half the people I know.
I don't want to keep this from my parents anymore. What should I do? -- TEEN GIRL IN ILLINOIS
DEAR TEEN GIRL: When parents say a teen is too young to date, they aren't talking about the number of candles on her birthday cake. If your parents are worried that Aidan is "obsessed," they must have a reason.
Sneaking around isn't a way to gain anyone's confidence. Teens show they are mature and responsible enough to handle the privilege of dating by being open, honest, communicating their feelings, listening respectfully to the opinions of others, and shouldering responsibility. If you start now, you may be able to convince your parents that you're ready.Read more in: Love & Dating | Teens
DEAR ABBY: I have been taking trips with a friend for a few years. We share a room and usually have a good time. Unfortunately, my friend is cheap. She fights for every dollar every day of the year even though she is very well off.
Lately she has become worse. During the last tour we took, she "made lunch" off the breakfast buffets in the hotels where we stayed, although most of them had signs posted saying that food should not be taken out. Not once, not twice, but every single day she packed a sandwich, fruit and coffee so she wouldn't have to buy lunch. I asked her to please not do it, but she brushed me off.
I like her, but I hate feeling ashamed of her. I believe in doing the right thing, and doing unto others what I would like them to do unto me, and I have reached the point where I just don't want to travel with her. Any advice? -- CALIFORNIA TRAVELER
DEAR TRAVELER: Yes. Tell your friend you have now taken your last trip together, and then tell her exactly why.Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Money
DEAR ABBY: I see so many young girls wear "spike" heels. I know they think they look glamorous, but a word of advice: Learn to walk in them at home. Girls, you look like ducks, walking with your knees bent because the heels are so high and you haven't practiced. I know what I'm talking about because those heels were in style when I was young. -- SMART LADY IN TENNESSEE
DEAR SMART LADY: There is nothing wrong with that advice. Practice makes perfect. However, allow me to add another suggestion. When I buy a pair of spike heels (and I do own a few), the first thing I do is take them to my shoemaker and have the heels cut down a quarter of an inch, which makes them more comfortable -- and safer -- to walk in. (If I broke an ankle they'd have to shoot me, because I'd never race again.)Read more in: Health & Safety
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.)