My girlfriend of several years, "Tami," became my fiancee last fall. We plan to be married this summer. I am white; Tami is black. For the majority of our relatives, this is not a problem. A few close relatives, however, have made their disapproval of interracial marriage quite clear. I chalk it up to their generation and the world they grew up in. The civil rights movement never happened for them.
Tami and I have decided not to invite those who disapprove. I don't even want them to have the option. Sourpusses do not make good wedding guests, so why waste the invitation? With help from Tami's father, we're paying for the wedding, and we are in agreement. My mother, however, is worried about insulting people. I think it would be a good lesson for them to experience that there are consequences for racist attitudes.
I told Mom I'd run this one by you. Your thoughts, please?
Wedding Planner in N.Y.
I'm not sure whose relatives you're planning to exclude, yours or Tami's, since racism is a sad fact of life across the board in our society. However, I see no reason to issue an invitation to anyone you feel would cast a pall over the wedding. Someone who has already voiced disapproval would make a poor guest. May your marriage be a long and happy one.
I am a 13-year-old girl living through a nightmare. When I was 4, I got a disease that caused my hair to fall out. I wear a wig and live in constant fear that it will slip or fall off. It's making me miserable.
Some girls say I am "lucky" because I will never have to shave. I would give anything to shave. My mom doesn't understand what it's like. Although she tries, she just makes things worse. How can I cope with this when no one I know understands, or even cares about its effects on my life?
"Naked" in New Orleans
An excellent way to cope with your problem is to talk with other young people who share it. You have a fairly common autoimmune condition called "alopecia areata." It occurs in men and women, but most often young people are the ones affected.
The National Alopecia Areata Foundation offers support groups, detailed information about current research, treatments, medical information, and much more that could educate your mother and benefit you. You both should visit its Web site, www.naaf.org, or e-mail it at email@example.com. I hope you'll do it soon, because the group is holding its 20th annual conference in Tampa, Fla., June 30 through July 3. If you and your mother can attend, they'll have programs and camps for kids from 5 to 17. Good luck!
Ever since my boss learned we live close to each other (about 15 minutes between us), he has asked me for a ride home every day. The ride is about 45 minutes. How do I tell him "no" without getting fired? Help!
Had It in Hackensack
Make yourself less available for taxi service. Start filling your calendar with errands, appointments and social engagements after work. You can't be fired for having a schedule other than straight to work and straight home.
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, Calif. 90069.
(c)2005, Universal Press Syndicate