DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old girl who has started college early. I love my classes, and I'm glad to be here. The problem is, the dating culture here is huge. People go on dates all the time.
I have been asked out several times, and I feel comfortable going, but I feel dishonest when I don't tell them that I'm 16. However, if I'm upfront about my age, the offer usually gets rescinded, and it becomes incredibly awkward. How can I have a fun college dating experience while still being truthful about my age? -- COLLEGE STUDENT IN UTAH
DEAR COLLEGE STUDENT: The age of consent for a girl in Utah is 16. For a young man, it is 18. You shouldn't jump the gun and announce your age before getting to know someone. If you are asked, of course you shouldn't lie about it. However, I see no reason to volunteer the information when you are asked for a date.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 32-year-old late-deafened adult. I have been deaf in my right ear my whole life, but lost my hearing in my left ear after a tumor was removed when I was 27.
I guess they are right when they say we are never fully prepared to lose things we have taken for granted for so long. I still have trouble communicating with people. I have taken a few sign language classes and four lip-reading classes, but I often feel like I'm no longer part of normal society.
My question is, shouldn't I have adjusted by now regarding how people see me, since I have been without hearing for so long? -- HEARING IMPAIRED
DEAR HEARING IMPAIRED: I have been told that the most isolating disability is being unable to hear. Please do not burden yourself by feeling you "should" have adjusted faster than you have. There is no set timetable for adjusting to any disability.
Because you feel stuck in the process, the Hearing Loss Association of America (hearingloss.org) may be helpful because it sponsors support groups in many states. Please check it out.
DEAR ABBY: Do you think it is fair for me to do all the housework and pick up dog doo-doo just because I moved into my sister's house with her and her family? They have five dogs and four cats. No one else bothers to do it. I do it to lessen the smell. When I try to say something, they say I am "causing problems." I don't have any animals of my own. -- POOPER SCOOPER
DEAR P.S.: I agree that the task of picking up after an animal -- let alone nine of them -- isn't something most people look forward to. However, if you are living rent-free with your sister's family, perhaps you should consider your chores to be your contribution to the household.
P.S. Because you mentioned that no one else cleans up the animal messes, consider finding more hygienic living arrangements as soon as it's feasible.
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