Dear Abby: She says kids torture her because she's smart

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A 14-year-old girl seeks advice after peers tease her for being smart.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old female from the West Coast. I am home-schooled and don't have many friends because I score high in tests, meaning I retain more information than the average person.

On the rare occasion that I mingle with children my own age, they call me unpleasant names, play pranks on me and otherwise torture me.

I hate it. I can't help that I am smart, and I refuse to degrade myself by dumbing down my actions and speech because they can't handle their insecurities.

- High IQ

DEAR HIGH IQ: Being "different" isn't easy, and clearly you are intelligent. But you and your parents should understand that crank calls are not "pranks" - they are a form of bullying and should have been reported when they happened.

Most parents who home-school also network with other home-schooling parents so their children can socialize with peers. If your parents haven't done this, I recommend you discuss it with them. You might also meet more intellectually advanced young people if you joined special-interest groups for older students.

Your high IQ might be less threatening to the students who have given you trouble if you volunteer to tutor some of them who need help with their schoolwork.

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend for almost five years. He's wonderful and we have a great relationship.

I now suspect that he's planning to propose to me on our fifth anniversary. I want to say yes, but I love the way things are right now, and I know that marriage will change things. What, if anything, do I say to him?

- Cold Feet in Salt Lake City

DEAR COLD FEET: I wish you had mentioned why you think being married to him would "change things." If you've been happy together for five years, it's unlikely that making a formal commitment would damage the special relationship you have.