I am a 41-year-old female working on my associate's degree in paralegal studies. Most people I know tell me I'm attractive, and I do get some second looks from men, but there is one thing I think - although I'm not sure - that scares them away. I am disabled.
I dress well, am an average weight for my height, independent-minded, although not quite independent physically. I get around on crutches.
I live with my parents. I enjoy and participate in physical activities. I don't have a lot of friends, which is fine with me, but I do have a number of special ones. I try to make the best of my disability, and everyone I know, even strangers, tell me I do well and admire me for my courage and strength.
I am not desperate. I like my alone time. But it's a big, beautiful world out there, and I'd like to share it with someone.
- At a Loss in Ohio
DEAR AT A LOSS: You need to widen your circle of acquaintances. Once you have completed your studies and have more time, make it your business to join local and state groups associated with your profession. Many people with physical disabilities have romantic lives and good marriages to partners who see past their disabilities and recognize all of the things they can do.
DEAR ABBY: Last night, I received a call from my almost-5-year-old granddaughter asking me for Santa Claus' phone number. It seems she is very angry at her daddy for calling her a brat because she wouldn't give him a hug. She wants to tattle on her daddy to Santa.
She seemed very upset about the incident, and I asked her to write a letter instead of phoning Santa to give me time for an answer. Did I do the right thing?
- Grandma T., Pacific Grove, Calif.
DEAR GRAMDMA T.: Yes. However, if she continues to look for a reply, "Santa's" response should be that her daddy was hurt when she refused to give him a hug because daddies need love just as little girls do.