DEAR ABBY: I am 14 years old and the daughter of a successful businessman. Daddy recently announced that we have been invited to the bat mitzvah of the daughter of one of his co-workers. I don't want to go.
When I was in seventh grade, I went to her brother's bar mitzvah. While the actual ceremony was interesting and enlightening (I'm Catholic), the party afterward was really uncomfortable. I'm not shy, but it is hard to socialize with people I have never met before on such a large scale.
I am afraid I'll be intimidated by all the other kids there who know each other. How can I enjoy myself this time around? I'd appreciate any advice you have. -- QUIET AND INTIMIDATED IN CLEVELAND
DEAR QUIET AND INTIMIDATED: You are older and more socially skilled now than when you were a seventh-grader. You don't have to "sparkle," because the attention will be centered on the bat mitzvah girl.
Why not use being Catholic and not knowing anyone to your advantage? Pick out the cutest boy in the room, walk over and explain that this is all new for you. Remember the circle dance in which everyone participated at the last party? It's called the "hora." Tell him you don't know how and ask him to show you and lead you when the music starts. You may make a friend.