I usually tell people that I am affecting only myself and that I’m happy, but this usually results in scoffs or more rude remarks. Part of me wants to be rude back because I am offended. What should I say the next time I am inevitably picked on?
Inked and Irked
in Calgary, Canada
:Dear Inked and Irked: I printed a letter last spring about a Canadian woman who insisted that people north of the border are nicer than people in the U.S.A. Your letter shows that’s not necessarily the case. The next time someone makes an unkind remark about your body art, look the person in the eye and say, “That you would say something so hurtful to me shows you are uglier on the inside than you think I am on the outside.”
Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have been dating for 11 months. He’s 18 and I’m 17. Every date we go on is initiated and planned by me. For once, I’d like to be surprised and swept off my feet by his actually planning a date. I don’t know how to go about this. I want to tell him without hurting his feelings.
Getting a Little Bored
in Quakertown, Pa.
:Dear Getting a Little Bored: The basis for a successful relationship is communication. While I don’t advise you to tell your boyfriend that you’re “getting a little bored,” I do think it would be helpful to express that you’d like HIM to plan your dates once or twice a month so you don’t have to do all the work in maintaining the relationship. That’s not hurtful; it’s truthful.
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.