DEAR ABBY: I don't like my stepsister, and when she stays with us, I'm forced to share a room with her. The last time she was here I got so mad at her I pretended to send a text message on my cell and secretly took a picture of her as she got out of the shower. I knew it was wrong, but it seemed funny at the time.
I sent it to my boyfriend because he doesn't like her, either, even though he thinks she has a "hot body." I thought it would be a joke just between us, but he sent it to some of his friends, and now it's making the rounds. Luckily, she goes to a different school, so nobody has recognized her, but I'm scared someone will. I'd give anything to take back what I did. What should I do?
- Scared stepsister
DEAR SCARED STEPSISTER: You should be scared. What you did was shameful and dangerous. Not only was it an invasion of privacy, it is also a crime - distribution of a pornographic image of a minor. Now that photo is on the internet, you will not be able to take it back.
Pray that no one in your family finds out, or you may be grounded, like, forever, and your boyfriend will be history. If the news does get back to your family, prepare yourself for a punishment like no other.
New lady talked to
his estranged wife
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 20 years and recently had an affair with a woman I'll call "Susan" I care very much about. My marriage was already in the final stages of failure by the time we met.
Over the last two weeks, I stayed at Susan's house on the nights I worked. Two days ago, without telling me, she went to talk to my wife to "get her side of the story." She believed everything my wife said and broke up with me. Susan has now blocked my phone number and told me to leave her alone.
Is it worth trying to reach out to her? Susan knew when I met her that I was married and continued seeing me. I told her the wife and I were separating but living in the same house until the lease ends. She thinks I lied to her, which I never did. I was always honest with her. What do you think happened?
- Dumped in California
DEAR DUMPED: It appears that your side of the story wasn't enough for Susan. She identified with whatever she was told and accepted it lock, stock and barrel. Because she wasn't mature enough to discuss it with you, she decided to cut and run, instead.
Lesson for you: Move out before you start dating again. It's not going to be forever - just until the lease ends.
Boss won't close door during personal calls
DEAR ABBY: My desk is situated right outside my boss' office. Her elderly father is in failing health, and while I'm not unsympathetic, each day for 30 to 40 minutes she takes personal phone calls with his daytime caregiver. The calls are always on her speakerphone with her office door wide open. I'm in a cubicle, so I have no door to close. Is there a polite way to encourage her to rectify this?
- Not deaf in Seattle
DEAR NOT DEAF: Yes. As tactfully as you can, ask your boss if she would mind if you close her door for the duration of those conversations because they distract you from doing your work.