DEAR ABBY: My 16-year-old daughter was interested in a boy her age from school. He was interested in her, too. He told her he wanted to date her, but that he is "polyamorous" and would be dating many girls simultaneously. She told him it is an excuse to date multiple girls, and she wasn't interested.
He told a mutual friend he is deeply hurt that she won't accept him as he is. I'm worried he will claim that she shamed him for this.
Abby, I am all about supporting how people self-identify, but this is ridiculous. Is this the new normal? If you refuse to date a boy who dates a ton of other girls simultaneously, does that make you guilty of shaming? Personally, I think this is the new excuse to be promiscuous and so does she, but I won't be laughing if we get called into the principal's office. — NOT FUNNY IN COLORADO
DEAR NOT FUNNY: That boy is sulking because his pitch didn't sell. Polyamory is the practice of openly engaging in multiple intimate relationships with the consent of all the people involved. What that boy may have meant was he enjoys "playing the field." Your daughter didn't discriminate; she showed good common sense. The administrator not only won't call your daughter into the office, I'm pretty sure the person will get a chuckle out of this.
DEAR ABBY: Our brother-in-law made a terrible mistake and is now serving time. My younger sister, "Tess," and I have visited him on a few occasions. We support him by listening and have told him that although he made a horrible mistake, he has to move forward.
Well, something happened that has put a damper on things. This brother-in-law sent Tess a letter, and in it he confessed to her that he had a dream, and she was in it. It wasn't a horrible letter, but I believe it was very inappropriate. He alluded to the fact that it was a sexual dream.
Tess has asked me if she should let our older sister, "Jane," know what her husband wrote. Jane has been through so much, so I told Tess it would not be a good idea to disclose it and add to her misery. Tess says it isn't fair to her to have to swallow this pill for the sake of not making waves. She feels Jane should know what kind of man her husband is. Abby, Jane knows exactly what kind of man she has. Part of what he did wrong was have a cyber affair.
Should Tess inform Jane that her husband has been inappropriate? She now refuses to visit our brother-in-law and has basically written him off. Please give me your opinion and advice. — TORN UP OVER THIS IN TEXAS
DEAR TORN UP: Tess is right. It appears incarceration hasn't discouraged your brother-in-law from writing inappropriate material to inappropriate recipients. Tess should not be discouraged from informing Jane about what her husband has done and showing her the letter, if it is still in her possession. Jane has a right to know. Please respect that Tess needs to distance herself from this troubled individual and his fantasies, and don't encourage her to visit him again. In light of what's happened, I'm not sure you should either.
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.
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