Dear Abby: I have an awful time meeting men. I’m not considered beautiful by any means, so that means meeting any good guys won’t happen. I use Craigslist a lot to meet sexual partners. I am so tired of giving up my body for a few minutes of pleasure and then feeling empty on the inside. Please tell me what to do.
– Where Are The Good Guys?
Dear Where: I’ll try, but first let me tell you where the good guys AREN’T. They are not on Craigslist trolling for sex partners. As my grandfather used to say, “If you’re looking for trout, don’t go fishing in a herring barrel.” Your problem isn’t your looks; it is your extremely low level of self-esteem. It’s important that you discuss this with a psychologist who can help you recognize the positive qualities you have to offer, because until you do, you will only repeat these empty, depressing encounters. Please don’t wait.
Shake or ‘pound it’
Dear Abby: I’m a 17-year-old girl who was raised to be polite. When I meet someone, I offer a handshake and a smile and make eye contact. However, I have found that because I’m female, adults – especially men – will go in for a hug even when I offer my hand to shake. This is followed by comments like, “You’re too sweet to just shake hands,” or, “Girls don’t shake hands.”
I like hugs, but they make me uncomfortable when they’re from someone I don’t know well, and I find the comments insulting. How do I avoid this awkward moment and respond to the comments?
– Teen in New York
Dear Teen: The next time someone lunges forward, take a step back and say, “I prefer to shake hands!” Say it with a smile and don’t be confrontational, but DO defend your personal space if you feel it is being invaded. It is not impolite to do so.
The etiquette of depilation
Dear Abby: I am a 19-year-old woman who recently got over a bout of compulsive hair-pulling that left the top of my head bald. The hair hasn’t completely grown back yet, so I refuse to go anywhere without a hat.
When I’m out in public, people often tell me it’s rude to wear a hat indoors. While I understand this, my hair is a sensitive subject that reduces me to tears. What can I say to people when they continue to badger me?
– Covered Up in Georgia
Dear Covered Up: Point out that it is even MORE rude to criticize someone’s attire when the person may have a legitimate reason for dressing that way. You should also talk with a hairstylist about buying an inexpensive hairpiece to wear until your hair grows back. That may curtail some of the unsolicited comments you’re receiving.