Boy can’t re­sist sneak­ing out to play with bul­lies

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - MARKETPLACE - ABIGAIL VAN BUREN Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069 or visit

Dear Abby: I’m a 12-yearold boy with some gen­eros­ity prob­lems. When my neigh­bor­hood friends come to my house, I of­fer them things (food, mostly) that are strictly off-lim­its, but it feels nec­es­sary.

Th­ese friends bully me, and it’s against the rules to play with them, but I want to, so I sneak out to do it. I know I’m not do­ing the right thing, but I can’t help it. Can you help me? — Can’t Say No Dear Can’t Say No: I’ll try. But first, you will have to un­der­stand and ac­cept that “friends” who bully and take ad­van­tage of you are not friends. Giv­ing them things that are “strictly off-lim­its” may seem nec­es­sary, but it won’t buy real friend­ship.

Be­lieve it or not, your best friends are your par­ents. That’s why it’s im­por­tant that you level with them about what has been go­ing on. Ask them if they can help you get into after-school ac­tiv­i­ties where you will meet nicer peo­ple who might like to be friends with you for no other rea­son than the fact that you are a nice per­son, too.

Dear Abby: I’m hav­ing a prob­lem with my den­tal hy­gien­ist, “Glo­ria.” Dur­ing my ap­point­ments, she en­gages me in con­ver­sa­tion, which in­vari­ably length­ens the ap­point­ment from a half-hour to a whole hour. She gig­gles like a school­girl and stops mul­ti­ple times dur­ing the clean­ing to remove tools from my mouth so we can talk.

I don’t want to be rude, but my ap­point­ments are on week­days, and I need to get

back to work. Oc­ca­sion­ally, I have brought some­thing to read, hop­ing it would keep Glo­ria from strik­ing up a con­ver­sa­tion, but it never works. I’m now con­sid­er­ing chang­ing den­tists be­cause I have nei­ther the time nor the pa­tience to deal with her. Please help. — Miffed In Mil­wau­kee

Dear Miffed: When you go to your next ap­point­ment, the first words out of your mouth should be to tell Glo­ria you don’t have time to talk and must be out of there promptly in 30 min­utes. If she can’t com­ply, dis­cuss it with your den­tist so he/she can “re­mind” Glo­ria that her re­la­tion­ship with pa­tients isn’t per­sonal, but pro­fes­sional. The den­tal prac­tice is a busi­ness, and if the sit­u­a­tion is as you de­scribe, Glo­ria could book twice as many pa­tients as she’s see­ing now if she cur­tails the small talk.

Dear Abby: My hus­band has gained a sig­nif­i­cant amount of weight, which has changed his ap­pear­ance. I have to ad­mit I no longer find him at­trac­tive and have a hard time even kiss­ing him. I don’t want to hurt his feel­ings, but I am turned off phys­i­cally.

He wants to lose weight, but can’t seem to find the mo­ti­va­tion. What can I do when he ap­proaches me for a kiss (or more)? — Ashamed In Alabama Dear Ashamed: Tell him what you have writ­ten to me. If that doesn’t give him mo­ti­va­tion, noth­ing will.

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