DEAR ABBY: Could you explain to me why, as a species, men are so blind and stupid? There are millions of smart, funny, sweet, attractive -- even sexy -- eligible women to whom men do not give a second glance, or even acknowledge that these wonderful women exist. Then, these clueless guys moan about how they can't find a good woman, can't find love, have a hard time getting sex, etc., when there are scores of potentially awesome partners right under their noses! Why don't men ever grow up? Even men in their 40s, 50s and 60s suffer from the same stupidity about the dating scene as teenage boys. I repeat: WHY?! -- ELIGIBLE LADY IN ALABAMA
DEAR ELIGIBLE: Coupling up can be complicated these days, because many variables can come into play. Individuals of both sexes can be addicted to a "type" they fantasize about, chase the illusion of eternal youth by pursuing unsuitable partners and/or be commitment-phobic.
That said, you might have better luck with men if you didn't stereotype them, because some of them are encountering the same problems you are. And believe me, they are mystified, too.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 12-year-old girl who has a lot of friends at school, but lately there has been some tension coming from one of them. "Belle" missed an event that was very important to her. She's usually easygoing, but since then she hasn't been herself, and it's starting to worry some of us. We have tried everything from talking about her favorite topic to trying to write a song for her. Sometimes she acts like herself, but other times she gives me and another friend the silent treatment and the cold shoulder. Is she a friend worth keeping? -- CONCERNED FRIEND IN ALABAMA
DEAR CONCERNED: You won't know what's causing Belle to act the way she is unless you ask her directly. There may be more going on in her life than you are aware of that has nothing to do with you. If she's doing it because she's hurt and you weren't at fault, clear the air so she knows it. But understand that the time to be a friend is when somebody needs one.
DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, I lost my wife of 32 years. Every month, on the anniversary of her death, I buy flowers for my house to honor her.
I am now engaged to a wonderful woman. She understands that I will always grieve for the wife I lost, and she has always shown respect for the way I show my grief. My question is, should I stop buying flowers to honor my first wife once my fiancee and I get married and move into a house of our own? I want her to know that she holds the No. 1 place in my heart. -- TIME TO MOVE ON IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR TTMO: I'm glad you asked. Although the sentiment behind those flowers is beautiful, I do not think it would be appropriate for you to bring flowers for your late wife into the home you will share with your next one. If you feel the need to honor your first wife, place flowers on her grave on her birthday.