DEAR ABBY: I'm a happily married woman in my 30s. Although we don't have children yet, many of our friends do. Some of them have boys who are approaching or are already in their early teens.
I'm embarrassed to even ask, but what are the best ways to avoid or immediately stop unwanted just-reaching-puberty attention from young boys? I am modest in my attire, I don't interact more than I need to with them, and I would never want to harm a child. But the looks and actions I get from some of them have my stomach churning. I need to know how to appropriately shut it down.
My husband just chuckles and shrugs his shoulders, saying, "They just want to talk to girls." I feel sick. Please help.
- Unwanted Attention
DEAR UNWANTED ATTENTION: Unless you have left something out of your letter, what the boys are doing is normal adolescent-boy behavior. However, because you feel some of them have crossed the line, you should tell their parents.
When a houseguest oversteps her bounds
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law visits from out of state each year and stays with us for about a week. When she's here, she invites her friends to our house and entertains them without asking us if we mind. I feel it's extremely rude, but my husband says we need to "put up and shut up" because she's family. I feel she could easily go to their homes to visit instead of inviting everyone here.
Is my husband correct? Am I wrong thinking she's being inappropriate as a houseguest?
- Confused Host in the East
DEAR CONFUSED: As your houseguest, your sister-in-law should have been asking you and your husband whether you minded having her friends over during her visit. She should also have bought food and beverages to accommodate them, and a house gift for the two of you. However, because she has been getting away with it for years, do not expect her to change. The time to have spoken up was the first time she did it.
Attracting the wrong kind of (attached) men
DEAR ABBY: I'm 22 and I'm sick and tired of letting myself get caught up with men who are already in a relationship, "halfway" single, or claim to just occupy the same house as their ex. I know some people may say I don't know what a real relationship is, or I should be enjoying my 20s instead of worrying about a serious relationship, but I have an old soul. I know I'm different from most people my age.
Could I be attracting the wrong men, or could it be my preferences in men? How can I go about attracting the right young man who wants the same things I do and isn't already tied to someone?
- Want My Own Man
DEAR WANT YOUR OWN MAN: Where are you meeting the men you mentioned in your letter? If it's happening in bars and clubs, it's time to change venues. As my dear departed grandfather used to say, "You won't catch trout in a herring barrel."