Dear Abby: Lying to parents only leads to more problems

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Dear Abby: I am moving out of my parents’ place soon to be with one of my best guy friends, but I haven’t told my parents who I’m moving in with. In the past, they have caught on to my lies when I was going through my “phase,” but I have been trying hard to be honest with them, so I don’t want to lie.

When I briefly alluded to it with Mom as a “what if” situation, she didn’t handle it well. She freaked out. They don’t understand that I can have a guy best friend without having a sexual relationship with him.

Now I am torn. Should I be honest so they don’t call me a liar down the road? Please help!

— Miss Independent in Colorado

Dear Miss Independent: Do not lie to your parents. If you do, you are only forestalling the inevitable. If you are mature enough to be moving in with someone, you should be able to tell them where they can find you and who your roommate will be.

You and this young man should explain that while you are good friends, you are not a romantic couple. Having a platonic male roommate can have its advantages — as long as the perimeters of the arrangement are clearly understood before either of you signs a lease, and your financial responsibilities (and his) are clearly stated, preferably in writing.

Dear Abby: I’m a 15-year-old girl, and I have been feeling very sad and down in the dumps lately. I recently lost my younger sister to sickle-cell. I also didn’t make my school’s soccer team. I have been crying often — sometimes for no reason, and other times because I’m mad at myself for crying all the time.

I have tried talking to my parents, friends and my family’s therapist (we got her because of my sister), but nothing seems to change my mood. It’s as if they just don’t get how I’m feeling. It also doesn’t help that it seems like everyone else’s life is so much better compared to mine. If you could offer any advice to help me with my feelings, I would really appreciate it.

— Down in the Dumps in Connecticut

Dear Down in the Dumps: Losing a younger sibling is difficult at any age, but when you are a young teenager, it can be even harder. Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your sister.

I’m glad your family sought guidance from a therapist to help you all through this difficult time. The feelings you are experiencing are normal under the circumstances. But because they are not lessening, it’s important you let the therapist know they are causing you additional stress so that, if necessary, you can be evaluated by a psychiatrist. Feelings like the ones you describe can be worked through if they are dealt with in a timely manner and not allowed to fester.

Dear Abby: What is the correct etiquette for eating shrimp? My husband says it’s OK to eat it with your fingers — even shrimp scampi.

— Pat in Texas

Dear Pat: According to Emily Post, shrimp can be eaten with the fingers “when served in a bowl or platter with a dip, or tail-on in shrimp cocktail.” A fork should be used when it is served “tail-less in a shrimp cocktail or as a main course.”

Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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