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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I've recently started seeing someone, and we have shared a wealth of information about ourselves with each other. When I asked him his last name, he said it was "Erickson." When I asked him if he had a middle name, he responded that he didn't.

Soon after, I saw his driver's license. It had a completely different last name from the one he gave me, and it turns out he does have a middle name after all. Now I'm starting to question everything he told me, and I'm afraid he may have lied about even bigger things.

What reason would he possibly have to lie about such a simple thing? And how should I confront him about it? -- JUST PLAIN CONFUSED IN GEORGIA

DEAR CONFUSED: The reason someone would give false information is usually because the person has something to hide. Unless "Mr. Erickson" is in witness protection, my guess is he is married or has a criminal record he doesn't want you to discover. Rather than confront him and be lied to again, run in the opposite direction and cease any further contact with him!

Read more in: Love & Dating

Friend Refuses to Be Lured Onto Boat He Doesn't Trust

DEAR ABBY: I am an avid fisherman with limited boating knowledge. Recently, a friend bought an older used boat that has questionable integrity. He keeps inviting me to go out on it with him, and I'm running out of excuses not to.

The real reason is my friend is inexperienced and the boat is unreliable. I don't want to be stuck out in the bay in a boat we can't fix. What's the best way to handle this? -- LEERY FISHERMAN IN TEXAS

DEAR LEERY: The way to approach it would be to tell your friend the truth. Ask if he has taken a boating safety course, and if the answer is no, suggest he do it -- or that you do it together.

As to the integrity of the vessel, ask your friend if the boat was inspected at the time of purchase, and if it wasn't, urge him -- for everyone's safety -- to have it done.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Health & Safety

Littlest Kids Grab Spotlight From Older Siblings

DEAR ABBY: My daughter has two children, a 7-year-old boy and a girl who is 4. They were at an event with some of her co-workers the other day. Everyone was talking to the younger child, telling her how cute she was and ignoring the older one. It was like he was invisible. He was so deflated.

I remember this happening with my girls when they were little. People always seem to gravitate to the little ones and pay no attention to the older ones. It has always bothered me. So, people, please be mindful of all the children. They are all precious. -- BOTHERED GRANDMA

DEAR BOTHERED: You're right, this happens all too often. In a case like this, all it would have taken would have been for someone to have complimented your daughter on her son's behavior and said within earshot of the boy how lucky the little one was to have such a "good boy" for an older brother. I hope you spoke up. It takes only a moment to say something nice to someone of any age who needs the attention.

Read more in: Family & Parenting

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