The only grand pi­ano in Gaza Strip is played in pub­lic for the first time in decade

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DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old girl who has been in a longdis­tance re­la­tion­ship for two years. We’re still in high school and ac­tively in­volved in sports and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. Dur­ing the fall months I cheer, and in the win­ter months he plays bas­ket­ball. Our sched­ules only re­ally al­low for tex­ting and FaceTim­ing rather than go­ing out.

Although our time is spent com­mu­ni­cat­ing on the phone, I feel we have a strong con­nec­tion, and I am de­voted to him. How­ever, my mom is con­cerned “be­cause I’m not dat­ing and tak­ing ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties that could come with dat­ing some­one closer.” She crit­i­cizes him non­stop and thinks he’s mak­ing ex­cuses and avoid­ing a com­mit­ment. She’d like to see me go­ing out and hav­ing fun with some­one like most girls my age do.

I don’t think he’s mak­ing ex­cuses, and I don’t feel as though I’m miss­ing out on any op­por­tu­ni­ties. This dis­agree­ment is caus­ing an is­sue between my mom and me. I feel that he’s The One, but Mom is find­ing it chal­leng­ing to ac­cept this. I would love to hear your ad­vice. — FAR, BUT CLOSE, IN MICHI­GAN


You may feel that this young man is “The One,” but your mother has a point. Please lis­ten to her. Rather than sit home ev­ery night be­cause you are de­voted only to him, you should so­cial­ize and de­velop non-ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships. It wouldn’t be be­tray­ing him.

Most young peo­ple go out in groups, and that’s what you should be do­ing. This may be what your mother is try­ing to con­vey rather than say­ing he isn’t The One.

Also, you and this young man have years of ed­u­ca­tion to com­plete be­fore you’ll be in a po­si­tion to for­mal­ize your re­la­tion­ship. While you are do­ing that, both of you will meet new peo­ple and be of­fered op­por­tu­ni­ties that may broaden your hori­zons. Think about it.

DEAR ABBY: For the past two years, my hus­band, “Den­nis,” has worked Christ­mas Eve and New Year’s Eve. He’s in a busi­ness where he doesn’t have to be the only one to work these hol­i­days. He vol­un­teers to do it be­cause of the tips and hol­i­day pay. When I walked into the of­fice to­day, I saw a note he had writ­ten to his boss ask­ing to work both hol­i­days again.

Years ago when my fa­ther was alive, he hosted Christ­mas Eve for our fam­ily. Then the tra­di­tion was handed down to me, and I proudly hosted them. Now that Den­nis and I are to­gether, our place is too small, so I asked my son to do it and he gladly agreed.

My prob­lem is, I will have to go to my son’s alone again for Christ­mas Eve, and my son and daugh­terin-law feel in­sulted be­cause Den­nis won’t come for the hol­i­days. How do I deal with this? — HUS­BAND­LESS FOR THE HOL­I­DAYS, AGAIN

DEAR HUS­BAND­LESS: It ap­pears you and Den­nis have been mar­ried only a short time. Was he like this when you were dat­ing? If the an­swer is no, it’s time to ask him if he in­tends to con­tinue work­ing hol­i­days in­def­i­nitely. And when you do, let him know that his re­fusal to spend fam­ily time with your son and daugh­ter-in­law hurts their feel­ings as well as yours.

If that doesn’t con­vince him to com­pro­mise, you will have to ex­plain to your son and his wife that Den­nis prefers to work rather than at­tend hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions and to please not take it per­son­ally be­cause it’s not per­sonal.

Con­tact Dear Abby at

Jeanne Phillips

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