DEAR ABBY: "Ethel" has asked me at least 50 times to have lunch. I have explained that my schedule is full and I can't commit to any additional outings at this time. She hogs the conversation and it's not pleasant being with her. My husband says to tell her bluntly I do not care to be with her. How do I get the message across without being rude?
- Stuck in the "Show Me" State
DEAR STUCK: Try this: "Ethel, you have asked me so many times that you are making me feel uncomfortable. Please understand that I do not have time to go to lunch with you, and please don't ask me anymore."
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I are starting to talk about marriage. The only problem is, I have a college degree and she has only a high-school diploma. She has no desire to attend college or get other schooling. I'm afraid we won't have a secure financial future because of her limited education. Should I end this relationship?
- Looking Twice in Idaho
DEAR LOOKING TWICE: Premarital counseling would give you both a clearer picture of what your future together will hold.
DEAR ABBY: I am 28 and have a wonderful 3-year-old daughter. When I was 12, my cousin, 16 at the time, fondled me, thinking I was asleep. I said nothing about it and neither did he. A couple of weeks ago we had sex, and now I am pregnant. Should I lie to my family about who the father is?
- Worried in Louisiana
DEAR WORRIED: You should not keep it a secret. As the father, he has a financial obligation to support the baby. Make absolutely sure he does not do to your daughter or baby what he did to you when you were so young. *