DEAR ABBY: A neighbor of mine entertains constantly. In fact, that's about all she does.
My problem: I do not enjoy going there because her husband looks at me in a way that makes me feel very uncomfortable.If I decline, she is offended and demands an explanation. Then I am put on the spot, because I do not want to tell her the real reason. How should I handle this? - ON THE SPOT
DEAR ON THE SPOT: Tell her you have "other plans." It could mean you are planning to stay home and wash your hair, or you have already made plans to go elsewhere, or you plan to catch up on your reading or watch your favorite TV program. The "other plans" excuse could cover a multitude of truths.
DEAR ABBY: I just discovered our 15-year-old son (who looks 19) has been having sex with a 17-year-old neighbor girl at her house. I also learned that the first time these two had sex, he was only 14 years old!
His father and I now refuse to let them be together anymore until after he graduates from high school - if they still want to at that time.
Abby, our son is obsessed with this girl. He swears that he is truly in love, and she is the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He says his life is nothing without her, and he would give up anything just to be with her again.
Should we let them see each other again or not? The girl's mother has no control over her, and her father travels three-fourths of the time.
Please answer soon and tell us what do about this pair. - AT WIT'S END
DEAR AT WIT'S END: Since chaining one or both of these young lovers in their respective basements is neither practical nor humane, you will have to do the next best thing: Let them both know that sex is a very dangerous game for people to play unless they can handle the likelihood of an accidental pregnancy.
There is no way you can keep young lovers with raging hormones apart. Although making sure they both know all they need to know about sex and birth control may strike you as repugnant, be assured that this is not in effect "giving them permission" - it is simply opting for the lesser of two evils.
DEAR ABBY: Thank you for your efforts to educate the public in matters concerning the deaf and hard of hearing.
My wife and I are both deaf and mute (please, not "deaf and dumb") and we use sign language to communicate with each other.
The ignorance we have encountered from some otherwise intelligent people in places of business would astonish you.
I offer this very old but true story to illustrate my point: Two gentlemen were standing together in a crowded commuter train. Seated below them were two deaf-mutes, conversing in sign language.
One of the gentlemen whispered to his friend, "I'm curious about something," whereupon he took a notepad and pencil from his pocket and wrote, "Can you write?" then he handed it to one of the deaf-mutes who, after studying it carefully, slowly drew from his pocket a handsome, expensive fountain pen, emerald in color and trimmed in gold. Then, with a flourish, he penned a few words on the notepad and handed it back to the standing gentleman.
Imagine their chagrin when they read in exquisite penmanship, "Can you read?" - J.J.P. IN BALTIMORE
DEAR J.J.P.: Thanks for a wonderful story with an important message.
Most teen-agers do not know the facts about drugs, AIDS, and how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It's all in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a 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.)