DEAR ABBY: I'm a single woman in my late 30s and have an 18-year-old daughter. When I am alone or out with my girlfriends, I am constantly hit on by younger men. My girlfriends say it's because I don't look my age and that I should feel flattered. Well, I am not a "cougar," and I don't get turned on by younger men.
While my single friends are being asked on romantic dates by professional older men, I'm being asked on dates by struggling college boys who have no car, no job and cramped living quarters with three other roommates.
It has reached the point that I just pretend to be married. But it's starting to bother me that mature men don't find me attractive. What should I do?
- In a Funk in Fresno
DEAR IN A FUNK: Instead of telling these young men you're married, why not tell them something closer to the truth - that you're old enough to be their mother and ask if they happen to have a single uncle.
If the only men who pay attention to you are men in their early 20s, your problem may be the way you're packaging the product you're trying to sell. Your makeup, hairstyle and attire may send the wrong message, and that's why men in your target demographic aren't showing an interest. Talk to your friends about this and see what they have to offer.
DEAR ABBY: I have a stressful job but do not work "regular" hours. I also care for my aged mother, which is like having another job. I enjoy taking an occasional break on my back deck. But any time my neighbor sees me sitting on my deck, he thinks it's funny to come outside and say things like, "Boy, I wish I could be like you and not have to work."
How can I nicely let my neighbor know his joke is now stale and no longer appropriate?
- Behind the 8-Ball in Ohio
DEAR BEHIND THE 8-BALL: Explain that you're not only working from home, but also caring for your mother - and when you take these breaks, solitude is necessary.