DEAR ABBY: I am a 33-year-old woman with two young children (11 and 9). "Andrew" and I have been dating for almost a year, still learning about each other and building a foundation for our relationship.
My family recently told some other family members that I am "too pretty" to be dating Andrew and I "can do much better." My younger sister even said Andrew isn't good-looking enough and I need to find someone who matches my beauty as well as my heart. Shocked, I told her Andrew has been wonderful to me and my kids, and his looks don't bother me.
My last boyfriend was very good-looking but turned out to be a horrible person. He assaulted me, dumped me on the side of a highway and stole my car. Fortunately, a passerby stopped and helped me. After getting a restraining order and going to court, I decided my next boyfriend would be a good-hearted man with character regardless of his looks. Should I confront my family about their comments? -- GENUINELY HAPPY
DEAR GENUINELY HAPPY: Mark Twain once said, "It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you to the heart: the one to slander you and the other to get the news to you." I think it applies here. Do not "confront" your family. Just tell them you feel that their comments are shallow and hurtful, and reflect more on them than on your boyfriend.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year-old girl. My friend "Bailey" and I both like the same boy but didn't want him to come between us. We made a pact that we wouldn't ask him out.
Bailey can be selfish, and I know she'd say yes if he asked her. When I told her my friendship with her meant more to me than the boy, she laughed and said that meant she'd get him. I'm not sure what to do. I have liked him longer than she has, and I think he likes me back. He knows me much better at least.
If he asks me, should I say yes and risk my friend getting hurt, even though I know she'd say yes in my place? -- A READER IN MISSOURI
DEAR READER: When you told Bailey your friendship with her meant more than the boy, her response showed that your friendship is less important to her than he is, and the pact means nothing to her. If the boy likes you, he will probably ask you out to do something. If he does -- and your parents agree -- you should accept. I say this because I don't think Bailey is a true friend at all.
DEAR ABBY: If someone organizes a trip for a nonprofit organization and charges a fee, and later finds out that, due to certain circumstances, the trip didn't cost as much, should the money be refunded to the people who took the trip or be given to the organization? -- JUST ASKING IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR JUST: Because the trip was under the auspices of the organization, return the money to the organization and let them decide whether it should be refunded to the individuals.
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