DEAR ABBY: I am a fairly laid-back mom of a wonderful 13-year-old daughter. Her friends are nice kids, but some of them dress pretty provocatively. I have seen them wear super-short shorts that are very “cheeky” and tops that really expose their assets.
We have been invited to a party at a friend’s home, and my daughter is allowed to bring a friend. The friend she has chosen to invite regularly dresses in very provocative attire, and I would feel more comfortable if I knew she was going to dress “appropriately” by my standards.
I don’t know what to do. Should I talk to the parents? (Cringe!) Ask my daughter to tell her friend what the dress code is and to convey “Wear something that doesn’t show your butt cheeks”? Or must I ignore it and hope for the best? — OVEREXPOSED IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR OVEREXPOSED: Many teenage girls let it all hang out in an effort to attract attention. I do not think you should talk to the girl’s mother because I don’t think your comments would be warmly welcomed. Instead, ask your daughter to talk to her friend and suggest that for this occasion, it would be better to cover up more than she usually does because the hosts are old-fashioned and can be judgmental — just like you.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 45-year-old male who has been trying for a long time to change my attitude. I’m a really nice person when things are going well, but when things get tough, I turn nasty. I talk to myself some mornings about reacting better to situations, but then I react as I always do when things are hard.
I found out four years ago that I’m bipolar, but I don’t want to use this as an excuse. I also quit weed three years ago in the hope that things would stabilize in my life, which has helped a lot. I used to get panic attacks, which stopped when I quit weed. Still, I don’t like the way I treat people when my mood is down. I don’t have the means for therapy, so that is not an option. Do you have any advice for me? — MEANIE IN FLORIDA
DEAR MEANIE: Be glad you have pinpointed what your problem actually is. I hope you are receiving treatment for your bipolar disorder. However, if you are not, then your next step should be to find a nearby college or university that has a department of psychology and talk to a professor there about what low-cost mental health services they may be able to provide.
If this is not an option, inquire at your county’s department of mental health. You may be surprised to find that help is available on a sliding fee scale. I wish you luck in your search.
DEAR READERS: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without sharing the traditional prayer penned by my dear, late mother:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service.
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
Have a happy and safe celebration, everyone! — LOVE, ABBY
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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