DEAR ABBY: I'm 20 years old. My boyfriend and I don't drink. Almost every person my age does, and it's starting to get to me. I'd love to have friends besides my boyfriend that I can hang out with, but I find that I connect only with him because everyone else always wants to go out and party.
I have more in common with 30-year-olds than people in college. Unfortunately, I would feel weird spending time with 30-year-olds, and I'm sure they'd feel the same about spending time with me. Most of my spare time is spent with my family. They just seem to get me.
How can I find people my age who think the way I do? I would appreciate other relationships.
- Liz in New Jersey
DEAR LIZ: I agree that it's time to expand your circle of acquaintances. That's why I'm advising you to join a gym or some other physical activity group and start meeting people who are involved in physical fitness. None of the ones I know want to spend their time drinking and partying because they are more interested in eating and living healthfully. I'm sure if you try it, you will meet others who think the way you do.
DEAR ABBY: I am 15, and all of my friends my age and a grade lower have their belly buttons pierced. I have been asking my mom for a very long time and she doesn't have a problem with it, but my dad does.
I don't want it to impress boys; I want it for my own beauty and to look good with a cute jewel to go with my summer outfits or bathing suits. Is it wrong?
- Kylie in Washington
DEAR KYLIE: I don't think that having a belly button pierced is a question of right or wrong. I suspect that your father's objection - and I'm not sure I disagree with him - is that he would prefer you make an impression by attracting attention in some other way. I'm suggesting you hold off for now and have it done when you're older - providing you haven't changed your mind by then.