cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend in her mid-40s who has naturally dark hair she keeps cut short. It looked fine.

A few months ago, she bleached her hair platinum blond. She said she was going for a look that will include dark roots, but she has kept the roots platinum, so now her hair just looks white -- especially in pictures. She posted photos of herself with her boyfriend on Facebook, and while I was scrolling down, my initial reaction was, "Who is that elderly woman he's sitting with?"

A mutual friend commented to me how bad my friend's hair looks and how aging it is. Should I mention to her that her hair color makes her look 20 years older? Telling someone her hair doesn't look good can be hurtful, but if it were me, I'd want to know. -- HELPFUL IN HAWAII

DEAR HELPFUL: Be diplomatic, but tell her. A tactful way to lead in would be to say you saw the pictures she posted on Facebook and the platinum hair makes her look "older." However, unless she asks how much older, don't volunteer, because if you say it's two decades, she may take offense.
cereta: Barbie as SuperSparkle (Barbie doubts your commitment to Sparkle)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I've been with my husband for five years, but we've been married only for a year. He told me a few months ago that his ex-girlfriend said he is the father of her child. We did a home DNA test and it showed he is not the father. In spite of that, my husband insists he still wants to take care of the child. I don't know what to do. Please help. -- THROWN IN NEW YORK

DEAR THROWN: It appears that what your husband wants is to maintain a close tie to the child's mother, because that is what will happen if he takes financial responsibility for her child. Tell your husband you want to discuss this with the help of a professional mediator, preferably a marriage counselor. If he refuses, talk to an attorney because you may be needing one.
cereta: The Turtle, whose thought is slow but always kind (Tower 1)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: Can an atheist be a godparent? -- WONDERING IN WISCONSIN

DEAR WONDERING: Yes. Today, the word "godparent" does not always have explicitly religious overtones. A godparent can be anyone the parents trust to take care of their child in the event of the parents' deaths. However, the potential godparents and the child's parents should discuss this in detail before any decision is made about conferring such an honor and responsibility.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: As parents of an adopted child, we were concerned about when we would have "the conversation." Then a neighbor told us about how they would celebrate "Gotcha Day" with their adopted daughter each year.

Gotcha Day is a day to celebrate because it's the day we became a family. We "adopted" their idea and have been doing something special on this day since before our child could even say the word "gotcha."

Early on, she had no idea what we were celebrating; she just knew it was a special day for us. Through the years, she was able to process exactly what it meant at her own pace, which relieved the need to ever have that dreaded conversation. Recently our daughter told us she loves this day more than her actual birthday!

I thought I'd share this with other adoptive parents who worry about when the right time might be to explain to their child that they were prayed for, wanted, loved and adopted. -- BLESSED PARENTS IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR BLESSED PARENTS: I had never heard of anything like this, but I think it's a great concept and certainly worth sharing with my readers. Thank you!
cereta: Amy Pond in space (Amy Pond)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My parents have been happily married for more than 30 years. While flipping through an old family album recently, I discovered photos from a wedding many years ago that I had never seen before. Turns out, they were from my father's first wedding. That's when I realized his marriage to my mother was his second wedding.

I'd like to learn more about his first marriage, but it's clearly something from my father's past that I can't talk to him about. I also wouldn't want to sour relations with his side of the family by bringing it up with them. What should I do? -- WANTS TO KNOW MORE

DEAR WANTS TO KNOW MORE: The shortest distance between two points is a direct line. How do you know this is "clearly" something your father won't discuss? If his first marriage was a deep dark secret, those photos would not have been kept in an album. The solution to your question would be to tell him you saw them and ask him to tell you about it. He may have learned lessons from his first marriage from which you could benefit.
cereta: (Kinsa)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My life is boring, repetitive and I am often depressed. I have trouble talking to others, which makes things harder. Every day is the same: Get up, go to a long day of school, come home, do homework, play video games, draw, go to bed.

The weekends aren't much better. My family never does anything, we never go anywhere. I don't have friends (the one I'd consider hanging out with is always busy), and at 15, I can't drive anywhere, get a job or do anything on my own for another year. I have never kissed, dated or even had a crush on anyone (I'm not sure why, it's not like I'm gay or too embarrassed), so I haven't got much to talk about with my peers anyway.

I'm alone. I'm not popular, I'm a complete nerd and I'm afraid to tell others what I enjoy. If I tell anyone I like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, I know I'll be mocked for the next few years of my life.

I'm pretty smart and I do well in school, but I'm not good at much else. My social skills are borderline nonexistent. My entire life is school. I just want some attention, some friends, something to do with my life. I need help, some advice, something, anything! -- BORING LIFE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR BORING LIFE: Having never met you, I can't surmise why you have difficulty interacting with others. However, there is nothing wrong with playing video games unless you substitute them for real-life experiences.

Surely, there are activities at your school that you could join that would give you more contact with your peers -- sports and special interest clubs, such as art, come immediately to mind. If your family belongs to a church, there may be a youth group that would welcome you.

If you need suggestions for finding an activity at school that might be a good "fit," talk to a counselor there. Explain how depressed and isolated you're feeling and ask for help. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

And remember, things will change when you turn 16 and can drive and work.
cereta: Cover of Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots (do princesses wear hiking boots?)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am the mom of two sons, ages 13 and 14. When I took them for their annual physical last summer, their pediatrician said this would be the last year I would be in the room while he examined my sons.

I don't understand why I should have to leave if my children are OK with my being there. My sons are comfortable with me, and I am an only parent. It seems to me that more and more rights are being taken away from parents. Am I out of line for feeling this way? -- EXAM ROOM OFF-LIMITS

DEAR OFF-LIMITS: Yes, if you trust your sons' doctor, which I hope you do. By ages 13 and 14, your sons are maturing into manhood. As their hormones and bodies change, they may have questions and concerns they would be more comfortable -- and less embarrassed -- talking to a male doctor about than their mother. Privacy in the examination room would give them the chance to do that.
cereta: Chris Robinson, "You amuse me" (Chris is amused)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My 25-year-old daughter suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome. Three years out of college, she wants to live an "extended dorm" lifestyle with other young men/women (and their girlfriends/boyfriends), instead of settling down and moving out with her boyfriend of two years.

She says she has "a high need for affiliation" (she needs a lot of people around 24/7). But she also has a high need for change/variety and rotates roommates every two to three years. Looking for a "mini commune" in a crowded city like San Francisco is very difficult. What makes matters worse is that she also has hobbies like sewing that require a lot of space.

Is there something wrong with this lifestyle preference? And if so, how do I help her break out of it? -- WORRIED DAD IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR DAD: At 25, your daughter is an adult. Many people her age live communally because it's less costly than living independently, and San Francisco has become so expensive that it's often their only option.

If she's already living in an "extended dorm" situation, it's her life to live and she'll learn lessons. If you feel compelled to offer her advice, suggest they relocate to a less expensive and crowded area, which may entail a longer commute, but with fewer roommates she will have more room for her hobbies.
cereta: Ellen from SPN, looking disapproving (Ellen)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I bought my 11-year-old daughter a cellphone. My ex does not approve. We have been divorced for six years, and he still can't get over it. He despises me. He refuses to listen to why I want her to have a cellphone.

While I want her to be responsible with it, I realize she will make mistakes -- which she already has by being on her phone too much. (It has been taken away from her once.) I want her to carry the phone with her in case of emergencies. If it is confiscated at school, her dad will no doubt tell me, "I told you so."

Should I abide by his wishes and not allow her to have the phone, or do you think my points are valid? -- MOM WITH PHONE ISSUE

DEAR MOM: Wanting your daughter to have the cellphone in case of emergency seems valid to me. If you are her custodial parent, I think that prerogative belongs to you.

But I do have a question: Who took the phone away from your daughter? If you did it because she was abusing the privilege, then she will learn her lesson if you are consistent. If a teacher takes it away from her at school, there should be consequences and you should ensure that they are enforced.

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