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DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old senior and have been dating the same boy for two years. A month ago, he told me he wanted to break up "because he needed some time to figure out what he wanted." I was devastated but agreed. Two weeks later, he told me he was sorry and he loves me.

We are back together now, but the weekend after our breakup, I went to visit a college girlfriend. We went to a party and I ended up having sex with a boy I didn't even know. I feel guilty and unworthy. What should I do? If I tell my boyfriend, I'm sure I'll lose him for good. If I don't tell him, I'll always worry that he will find out from someone else. -- UNWORTHY IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR UNWORTHY: You are acting like you have something to feel guilty about. You don't. At the time you visited your college girlfriend, your boyfriend had broken things off with you. You do not owe him an explanation or a confession as long as you haven't given him an STD. Contact your physician and be checked to be sure.


DEAR ABBY: I'm vegan and make a point of being polite to servers in restaurants. I carefully describe what I would like to eat from their menu. Although they appear to be attentive, half the time they serve me a meal with an added touch -- a scoop of sour cream or sprinkle of cheese on the top.

When it happens, is it fair to send the food back to the kitchen? Or is it better to painstakingly scrape the unrequested item off of my dinner? I don't want to waste food, and I would like my meal prepared to my specifications. Any suggestions? -- VEGAN IN THE WEST

DEAR VEGAN: You have every right to send a meal back if it wasn't prepared the way you requested. You, as the customer, are paying for your food, and you should not have to painstakingly scrape anything off it. Some people with dietary restrictions carry a laminated card with them that lists the foods they cannot eat. It is shown to the chef by the server at the time your order is placed. You may want to try it.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics

DEAR ABBY: My husband died recently. We didn't have children. His family keeps contacting me and inviting me to lunch, movies, etc. The problem is, I have nothing in common with them and no longer want to spend time with them. When I make an excuse to politely bow out, they suggest another date, and another and another. How can I get them to leave me alone? -- ENJOYING MY SOLITUDE

DEAR SOLITUDE: Your former in-laws mean well, and many would consider you fortunate that they try so hard to be supportive and remain close. Keep in mind that you are their last tie to their son. However, because your polite refusals aren't getting through, tell them that while you appreciate their gesture, you are not lonely. In fact, you enjoy being "alone with your memories" and you will contact them if you change your mind.

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