DEAR ABBY: My 20-year-old daughter recently caught me "actively engaged" in watching porn. I tried to do it late at night when I thought everyone was asleep. My daughter now thinks I'm a pervert.
Her mother raised her with conservative beliefs about any expression of sexuality. I'm worried about her ability to make a future marriage work, and I want the wonderful relationship we shared back. Some people have suggested that as she matures and becomes more aware of the real world, she'll come around. But I'm a relatively old 58 to have a child her age, and I don't want to wait until I'm gone for her to "come around." What can I do? — MISSING MY BABY GIRL
DEAR MISSING: Your baby girl isn't a baby; she's a young adult woman. Most individuals are uncomfortable with the idea of their parents as sexual beings despite the glaring evidence to the contrary. She may have reacted the way she did because she was embarrassed by what she saw.
Do not broach the subject of what her marriage may be like if and when she marries, because it's really her affair, not yours. Apologize for the unfortunate turn of events, and use this as an opportunity to be more careful in the future.
DEAR ABBY: I am 70 years old. Because of a combination of good luck, good genes and years of exercising and eating right, I look OK for my age. Many of my friends have not been so fortunate and haven't aged well.
When I see someone that I haven't seen in a long time, often they will say, "You look great." Can you please give me a good reply? I say, "Thank you," but that doesn't seem to be enough. "You look great, too" seems inappropriate. Please help. — GOOD RESPONSE IN THE SOUTH
DEAR GOOD RESPONSE: Instead of "You look great, too," try this: "Oh, my. You're a sight for sore eyes! How long has it been?"
DEAR ABBY: Recently, a good friend invited me along on a six-night trip to Waikiki. We shared the same hotel room. He slept in the king-size bed; I slept on the pull-out sofa in the living room area.
I ended up getting bed bugs and figured out where I got them from when I got back to my apartment in Los Angeles. When I told my friend what happened, he immediately said he didn't want to be involved or be a part of this. Then he began emailing and texting me saying that if I filed a claim, he would be banned by the hotel chain and lose his gold member points. Then he began blaming me and asked how I knew I didn't get them from a movie theater or maybe the airplane or even a well-known coffee chain I go to. Now he won't return my phone calls, emails or text messages. I am shocked and feel hurt and confused. — BITTEN IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR BITTEN: I understand why you are shocked and hurt, but please don't be confused. Your former good friend values his gold membership status more than he does your friendship, which speaks volumes about his priorities. While he isn't wrong that you could have picked up the bedbugs on the plane or in a movie theater — bedbugs are all over the place and hard to get rid of — if he was a true friend, he wouldn't be ghosting you now.
Call the hotel and explain what happened. Give them the room number so they can investigate and possibly prevent another guest from having the same experience you did.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)