DEAR ABBY: I am a pastor, but please don't identify my church or location. About four or five years ago, a woman who attends this church came to me complaining because her teenage son (I'll call him Michael) had been stealing. She said he was even stealing the marijuana she and her husband had hidden away for their own use!
Yesterday, I officiated at Michael's funeral. He was 22 years old and had many friends and a loving family. There is much speculation about whether Michael's death was a suicide or an accidental overdose of drugs.Abby, please print this to let parents know that their use of drugs can have a devastating effect on their children. - SAD PASTOR
DEAR PASTOR: Thank you for sharing your personal experience in an effort to stress an important point: Parents may tell their children, "Don't do as we do; do as we say." But the children who fare the best are those whose parents have set the best example by their own actions.
DEAR ABBY: My sister and I were eating dinner in a cafeteria where we could pick whatever we wanted to eat. I selected a cup of thin soup with very thin noodles in it, but it was mostly broth.
After I had eaten the noodles, I picked up the cup and drank the broth.
Well, my sister bawled me out and said it was ill-mannered to drink the broth that way. She made such a fuss, I felt just terrible. I am 72 years old and my sister is 76. She has bossed me around all my life, and I finally decided I had had enough. Please tell me if she was right to criticize me. - HAD ENOUGH IN BANGOR, MAINE
DEAR ENOUGH: There is nothing ill-mannered about picking up a cup of soup and drinking the broth. You may quote me, and I hope you do.
P.S. A bowl would be a different story.
DEAR ABBY: Four years ago, my sister, who is two years older than I am, was planning her wedding, but she broke her engagement. I was 17 at the time, and she had asked me to be her maid of honor.
Anyway, she's still not married, but I am planning my own wedding, and here's my problem:
My sister said, "I hope I'm going to be your maid of honor. Remember, I asked you to be mine."
Abby, if she is not my maid of honor, she will feel hurt. My understanding is that your maid of honor should be someone whom you trust and is always there for you - like your best friend. My sister does not qualify.
I have two close friends I'd rather have - but Sis would be hurt and probably would not settle to be one of my bridesmaids. How shall I tell her that I already have someone else in mind, someone who has been my best friend through thick and thin?
Please print this. I'm sure there are thousands of others out there with the same problem. - PLANNING MY WEDDING
DEAR PLANNING: If you are old enough to be married, you are old enough to stand up to your sister. Simply ask her to be one of your bridesmaids and don't be apologetic about it. It is your right to have whomever you want. It's your wedding. Good luck!
What teen-agers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)