Dear Amy:

I am almost 14 years old and going into eighth grade. I am going to sleep-away camp, and asked my mother if on the first day I could wear a little makeup -- light blush, lip gloss and some mascara.

I almost never wear makeup except on special occasions, and the first day of sleep-away camp qualifies as such. My mother says she won't let me wear makeup out in public until age 16, and I am not okay with this.

I think that a little blush, mascara and lip gloss should be accepted at age 14.

I am not asking to wear a lot, and I almost never ask. I know people who wear blue mascara to school. I am not saying this is right, but it seems like everyone is allowed. My mother won't even let me wear some kinds of lip gloss!

Amy, please help me -- camp is approaching and I am waiting.

14-year-old in Maryland

Even if I could reach through the newspaper and talk your mother into letting you wear makeup, I wouldn't do that. And you know why? Because she is your mom, and in your home, your parents get to develop their own rules and standards that their children should respect, even if these rules seem tough.

I can make one suggestion, though. This calls for you to be extra cooperative.

Instead of you and your mother going around and around over the same issue, why don't you, during a quiet moment, ask her to explain her reasoning? She may have a problem with mascara, for instance -- a lot of moms do. You two might be able to compromise by you agreeing not to wear mascara.

Perhaps she could go with you to the drugstore and help you choose a sheer powder and tinted lip balm (instead of lip gloss). Tinted lip balms are the latest thing and they are great because they give you a little color as well as that all-important SPF protection, and you're going to need that for those hot and balmy days at camp.

In fact, if you play your cards carefully, you could have your mother INSISTING that you wear tinted lip balm, and wouldn't that be great?

Dear Amy:

My friend from high school invited me to her daughter's wedding. I was invited to bring a guest. Because I am not dating anyone, I had thought to ask my brother to accompany me to the event.

However, now my friend (who has met my brother) asked if he would tend bar at her daughter's wedding. My brother does not wish to do this.

My question is, can my brother still go to this wedding and not tend bar, or do we say he has other plans for that day?

Norah T.

Theoretically, the wedding invitation and the bartending request have nothing to do with each other, but I think we both know that if your brother turns down the bartending gig and opts instead to be wined and dined by the bride's family, it's going to seem tacky.

Dear Amy:

My boyfriend and I broke up about a month ago. While we were split up, he started talking to the receptionist at his doctor's office.

Well, now we are back together and she won't stop bringing up "their relationship." My boyfriend swears nothing sexual happened, and I believe him.

He thought she was a cool person, so he wanted to be friends with her. I said that was okay because nothing sexual happened, but every time he goes in to the doctor she brings it up or hints around about it.

What should I do?

Totally Confused

If your boyfriend is visiting his doctor so often that he has had repeated contact with the receptionist over the past month, I would be extremely worried about his health. Perhaps he needs a second opinion, preferably from another doctor who doesn't have a cool and pushy receptionist.

Your guy seems to enjoy telling you about these encounters. If he is trying to make you jealous, that's sort of pathetic, and you should tell him so.

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