Dear Abby: I am a woman with alopecia (hair loss) who has gotten to the point where I now wear a hair-enhancement system that clips onto my real hair to stay in place. I am happy with it. My anxiety over the problem is gone.
However, the clips are metal, and now I'm wondering if I can ever fly on a plane again. I have seen little old ladies with hip replacements stopped by screeners. I know I would set off the alarm at the checkpoint.
Is there anything I can do to avoid this humiliation? Is there any provision for this sort of problem, or is it at the discretion of the airport security?
— Anonymous in Texas
Dear Anonymous: According to Greg Soule, the public affairs spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, even if the clips are small, they may set off the metal detector when you go through security. However, private screenings are available to anyone who requests them.
You should talk to a security officer in front of the checkpoint and ask to be screened privately. You will be taken from the public view and checked with a hand wand, among other screening techniques. If the clips are detected, a "pat down" and a visual inspection may have to be done to resolve the alarm.
You can bring a note from your physician explaining your condition, if having one helps your peace of mind. But they are not universally accepted because of concerns about fraudulent documents.
Dear Abby: My daughter, "Alexa," and her boyfriend, "Ryan," were on vacation and went gambling. Ryan bet $400 at a craps table, handed Alexa the dice and told her to throw. She threw the whole night for him and won $2,500.
After they finished playing, Ryan put all the proceeds in his pocket. I thought it was unfair. Alexa says it's no big deal. I understand that the $400 was his, but she won $2,100 for him.
What's your opinion? Isn't this a red flag not to invest any more time in this relationship?
— Not Betting on This One
Dear Not Betting: If Ryan's basic nature was generous, he would have split the winnings 50-50. I agree your daughter would have a happier life with someone whose interests are less selfish and more generous. However, if she isn't ready to end the relationship, advise her to have an arrangement with Ryan in advance the next time they go gambling so she'll get more out of the game than carpal tunnel syndrome.
Dear Abby: I'm turning 40 this year, and I'm planning on throwing myself a party. Some people, including friends and people I have contacted to hire (a DJ, caterer, etc.), have told me they think it's strange that I am throwing a party for myself.
I'm not married or involved with anyone, and I really want to do this for myself. What are your thoughts? Is it OK to give yourself a party, or is it weird?
— Planning for the Big 4-0
Dear Planning: There is nothing unusual about people throwing parties for themselves to celebrate special occasions. I don't know where the DJ, caterer, etc., got the idea that it's weird. In fact, it's a foolproof way to guarantee that you have exactly the kind of party you want. So, go for it — and don't let anyone hold you back.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
© 2009 Universal Press Syndicate