My fiance is in the Marine Reserve. He has been in for five years, and his contract is due to end next year. After that, he will resign or reenlist.

He's obsessed with serving his country and deploying. He says he won't feel he did his job if he doesn't deploy. I respect that, but for him to deploy, he must reenlist, and his new contract will be for six years. He could be sent overseas many times.

I can't imagine life without him. Every time I watch a war movie, I cry. I know it sounds selfish, but how can I talk him into not reenlisting or at least tell him I don't want him to?


DEAR WANTS: I'm surprised you haven't told your fiance your feelings about this already, because you should have. I wouldn't ask him to choose between you and his military service, but I think you have some serious thinking to do about your future. Being a military spouse requires a strong, independent, dedicated person - as you have already experienced. You may love him, but if this isn't a lifestyle to which you can adapt, he may not be for you.

Distant grandfather deserves no respect


My mother's father recently got out of prison and was deported to Mexico. He had been in jail for 20 years, almost my entire life (I'm 22). While he was in prison, I wrote him several times, hoping to connect, but I never got a response - not even an acknowledgement in his letters to my mom.

When I'm asked if I have any grandparents, I usually say, "I only have two grandmas." My father's father was the only real grandfather I had, and I loved him dearly. He died in 2003.

The problem is, my mom wants me to call her father "Grandpa" when I don't even know the man! In my opinion, the title is earned and not automatically bestowed. Am I being unreasonable?



DEAR ESTRANGED: You are not being unreasonable; you are being rational. You are not only not obligated to call this man "Grandpa," you are under no obligation to speak to him, and I wouldn't blame you if you kept your distance.

Nervous about going to first school dance


I just got asked to my first high school dance by "Josh," a boy I really like. I don't know what to do, wear, or say. I don't even know how to dance, and I don't want to mess this up.

Josh is popular and has done this before, but I haven't. He's my best friend, and I'm scared of losing him because I'm not good enough. Should I go, or call it off and stay home? Maybe I'm not meant for all this dating stuff.


DEAR INEXPERIENCED: If you weren't "good enough," Josh wouldn't have invited you to the dance.

Because you haven't danced before, ask him to give you some pointers before the big night. I'm sure he'll help.

As to what to wear, ask if any of your girlfriends for suggestions. However, if none of them have been to a school dance either, ask any female relative of the same age - or ask Josh.