DEAR ABBY: I’m writing to you about an experience I had that might be useful to girls my age and older. I’m in eighth grade and I’m friends with more boys than girls. Because I’m a tomboy, fitting in with them is easier. Today in manufacturing class, I was hanging out with my friend “Ian.” We were in a larger group of boys and he started bragging about how this girl had sent him a topless photo. He then proceeded to pull up the photo and pass it around.
I was a little shocked, but I realize people my age don’t always make smart decisions (sharing a nude photo). Adults around us always tell us not to send photos to people you don’t know and never to send inappropriate pictures. That lesson sure hit home with me when Ian showed around the one he has. I want to caution other girls not to do this. Pictures don’t stay as private as you might think. I feel bad for that poor girl! — SAW TOO MUCH IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SAW TOO MUCH: Thanks for a great letter. Nobody likes to be lectured to, and adults already do enough of that. I hope your message will resonate with other young women because it’s an important one.
DEAR ABBY: I have a question about etiquette. I recently encountered a counselor I had gone to for many years. We exchanged the normal social amenities, and nothing was said about any therapy issues. Abby, she holds a special place in my heart. I hadn’t seen her in five years. She didn’t look well at all. In fact, she looked awful. I was shocked. Although I was concerned, I said nothing because I didn’t know the correct way to handle the situation. What can I say to her to let her know I care? — APPROACHING IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR APPROACHING: Drop your former therapist a note, telling her what a difference she has made in your life and that she will always hold a special place in your heart. Explain that you were concerned when you saw her — and ask if there is any way you can be helpful, because you would very much like to be. Do not go into detail about how awful she looked, and don’t expect her to start a social relationship with you. If she’s well enough to practice her profession, doing so might be considered unethical.
DEAR ABBY: My husband’s older brother comes over every few weeks to do his laundry. While he’s here, he helps himself to my snacks. My husband’s younger cousin also comes over every now and then to do his laundry and eat (at our expense or my labor). We are better off financially than both of them, but I think the way they mooch off us is inconsiderate. My husband says it’s normal and that’s how family is. But we don’t do that in MY family, nor do we arrive anywhere empty-handed. Are his family using us, or is this normal? — TIRED OF IT
DEAR TIRED: It’s normal for your husband’s family. Make an attempt to schedule these clothes-washing sessions at your convenience, and stash your snacks someplace you know the relatives won’t find them.