KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR \ Annie's Mailbox Relationship with 'Nate' doesn't have to get physical
Dear Annie: I just came back from my eighth-grade school trip. All of my friends were kissed, or they made out with guys they met.
I have a really good friend, "Nate," and we have a lot of fun just talking, and I don't want to push him into anything. But I feel really pressured to get physical with him because all my friends have done that stuff. Please help! Confused in Florida
Dear Confused: You sound smarter than most of your friends, because you already know that pushing Nate into a physical relationship is a bad idea. Please don't allow these other girls to convince you that you're missing out if you don't have a boyfriend right now. You're not. You are discovering how to have the kind of friendship that provides the basis for a healthy, future relationship -- one that will last much longer than any of those kiss-and-tell sessions. Take your time, honey, and get it right. You won't be sorry.
Dear Annie: Six months ago, my in-laws moved into a local senior apartment complex. At the time, my father-in-law gave all his tools to my husband, and we placed them in our garage. The condition was that Dad would be able to come to our garage and use his tools.
Well, Annie, my father-in-law is in my garage every day. Worse, my husband left a key to our house in the garage and Dad often pops in while I am still asleep. Dad also thinks he is a personal escort for anyone who visits. Even the utility workers cannot enter without my father-in-law, and he insists they enter from the basement, which means I have to go down there and lock it after they leave, since Dad never remembers.
I am usually the only person at home when Dad drops by. I feel like I have a baby-sitter. My husband is somewhat understanding, and we are working with some nonprofit groups to see if we can get them interested in my father-in-law's mechanical talents, but if that doesn't work out, my husband refuses to do anything that would limit his father's access to our home.
I love my father-in-law dearly and don't want to hurt his feelings or take him away from his tools. I am trying to be diplomatic and caring. Do you have any other suggestions that won't make me totally explode? Ready To Burst Daughter-in-Law
Dear Ready To Burst: Your husband should tell his father that he is welcome to use the garage, but not the house. If he isn't willing to do this, approach your father-in-law and say, "Dad, I'm glad you feel comfortable here, but I'd rather you give me some notice before entering the house. Sometimes I'm not dressed. I'm going to keep the deadbolt locked until I am ready for company." (If you don't have a deadbolt, get one. If Dad already has the key, get the locks changed.) Insist that your husband back you up on this. Period.
Dear Annie: I was moved to write after seeing the responses in your column about airline passengers reclining their seats.
I am 6 feet 7 inches tall and fly every week. While I always request a seat in the exit or bulkhead row, I'm not always successful in obtaining one. Often, I notice a "regular-sized" person in those seats and silently loathe their lack of consideration. If the passenger in front of me puts his seat into high-speed reverse and crushes my knee, I will gladly berate the offensive pig and follow it with an American tradition -- a lawsuit. There is no excuse for the arrogance of these travelers. D.G., Pensacola, Fla.
Dear D.G.: We take it your knees have been crushed more than once. Until the airlines create more space between rows, reclining seats will continue to be a source of animosity and frustration. Thanks for expressing your views on the subject.
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