DEAR ABBY: My dad recently married someone much younger, so my sister and I have a new stepmom. "Tori" has no children of her own. She's nice, but she's trying too hard.
She constantly tries to make "girl talk" about personal things that girls our age talk about with sisters and friends, but not their parents. She also insists on doing things together during our visitations. She takes us clothes shopping and tries to tell us what we should wear.
Tori never knocks before coming into the room where we stay at Dad's, even when she knows we're getting dressed. She says, "We're all girls." She actually spends more time with us than our dad does, but there is such a thing as too much attention.
Tori is now planning an "all girls weekend" for the three of us. Because we'll be sharing one hotel room, there won't be a minute's peace from her. We don't want to hurt her feelings since she's trying so hard -- unlike friends of ours who have the opposite problem with their stepmoms.
How can we discuss boundaries without hurting her feelings? -- TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT, SACRAMENTO, CALIF.
DEAR TOO CLOSE: You're right, your stepmother is trying too hard. Chalk it up to the fact that she's much younger than your father, is new to the role she's playing and is trying to relate to you as an equal.
What concerns me about your letter is the fact that you are spending more time with your father's wife than you are with him. That's not what visitation is for. My advice is to talk to your mother and father about this, privately. And please do it soon, so an intervention with Tori can be managed before she alienates those she's trying so hard to befriend.