DEAR ABBY: I recently received a very competitive internship in New York. I'm excited and can't wait to go. I have never been to New York, and my mom is driving me crazy over it.
She's using my internship as an excuse to go on vacation to "see me," even though I have told her multiple times that I won't be able to do anything with her because I'll be working full time. She doesn't have a car and expects to use mine, and she's constantly sending me information about stuff "we" can do in New York. It is overwhelming, and I'm getting very stressed out.
I just want to go by myself and have my own experience. We don't have that good a relationship. Would it be bad if I asked her not to come? -- STRESSED OUT NEW INTERN
DEAR INTERN: You have already told your mother -- with whom you do not have a good relationship -- that you will be busy. Repeat that message often. When she sends you literature about things you can do together, point out that your time must be devoted to one thing -- your internship. If she makes reservations to come to New York, tell her you would prefer that she not come until your internship is finished, unless she's prepared to do all of the activities she's planning on her own.
DEAR ABBY: I am 24 and still a virgin. For the past 10 years I have had a vaginal infection. I'm scared that I can't have children. Because of this I have never allowed myself to date.
I'm terrified of going to a doctor. My father died of cancer when I was 17, and the thought of being diagnosed with cancer prevents me from going to get this looked at. I am very depressed about this and the stress is causing my hair to fall out. I need help, but I'm scared. What should I do? -- ANONYMOUS IN SANTA BARBARA, CALIF.
DEAR ANONYMOUS: You MUST see a doctor. If you need moral support, ask a trusted friend or relative to come with you. The only thing worse than dying of cancer would be to die of a disease that could have been cured had it been diagnosed early enough.
Although I am not licensed to practice medicine, allow me to suggest that if what you have is cancer, you would have known by now. That's why I'm urging you to act like the adult you are and talk to a gynecologist.
If you don't know of one or can't afford one, contact Planned Parenthood. It has clinics that provide the help you need. The caring people at Planned Parenthood will help you as they have helped many others, and they'll do it on a sliding payment scale, if necessary. Please let me hear from you again so I'll know you're OK.
DEAR ABBY: What's up with this beard trend? I am sick and tired of looking at unshaven men. It makes them look shaggy and not clean. I think that hairless faces should be the new trend. Let's clean up, please. Do you agree, Abby? -- JOAN IN FLORIDA
DEAR JOAN: As a woman who is married to a man with a beard, I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)