DEAR ABBY: My daughter is a lifeguard at a local pool.
Caregivers, please take note: While she's disciplining your child for dunking another, she cannot watch other children who might be struggling to catch a breath. You cannot possibly watch all the children you brought with you while you're busy on your cellphone.
Yes, lifeguards save lives. But if the lifeguard has to be a disciplinarian and a baby sitter as well as do her own job, she might not see the baby who fell into the pool while you were flirting with the sexy guy sitting near you. Having a lifeguard present does not excuse parents from taking care of their children. Do YOUR job and prevent a tragedy from happening. -- VIGILANT IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR VIGILANT: Thank you for reminding parents how important it is to watch their children at ALL times when they're near water. Too often we hear about the drowning death of a child because someone was distracted "for just a few moments." I hope my readers will take to heart your important message.Read more in: Health & Safety
DEAR ABBY: I am a 50-year-old gay man, out of the closet for 10 years. Throughout my life I have had to deal with low self-esteem and other issues. When I came out, my life changed dramatically for the better. However, I have never been in any kind of relationship. I never had a girlfriend when I was trying to pass for straight, nor have I ever had a boyfriend. Outside of immediate family, no one has ever said "I love you" to me. I'm the type of person who is instantly "friend-zoned."
As I get older, I'm feeling lonelier and lonelier. Friends tell me I'm better off, because lovers just break your heart. I'm willing to risk that for the opportunity to tell someone I love them and hear it in return, but at this point, I have no idea where to begin.
I have tried dating, but nothing has ever progressed beyond a first date. I don't know if there's something about my personality that makes me undatable or what. Do you have any advice? -- ALONE IN MISSOURI
DEAR ALONE: I doubt there is anything wrong with your personality. That you have never been in a relationship may have left you a little rough around the edges when it comes to romance.
I'm a firm believer that the more exposure someone has, the better the chances of finding what you're looking for. If you aren't active with a gay and lesbian community center, go online to lgbtcenters.org and research some in your area. You have to be "out there" for Prince Charming to find you. Join talk groups, fundraising groups, sports activities, and look into online dating. While you shouldn't go around with "Needy" tattooed on your forehead, let your friends -- gay and straight -- know you'd like to meet someone nice. Who knows? Maybe someone will have a brother -- or an uncle.Read more in: Love & Dating
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)