Dear Abby: Mom needs to help hairy daughter

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are having a disagreement about one of our daughters (we have three).

Our 8-year-old is very hairy. It is noticeable, and she doesn’t like wearing shorts, skirts or dresses because of it. Her classmates tease her about it.

I want to teach her how to shave her legs or show her how to use hair remover. Her father is angry that I want to “do this” to his little girl.

I was a hairy child as well, and I was teased about my hairy legs and my unibrow, which my parents wouldn’t let me shave or pluck. I remember how painful it was, how upset it made me and how different I felt from my classmates because of it.

I told myself as a child that when I grew up, I’d never let my daughter go through the same torment. I still feel that way. Should we wait a few more years, or should I buy the products I need and teach her what she’ll be doing for the rest of her life? — HAIRY SITUATION IN ARIZONA

DEAR H.S.: Your husband may mean well, but he may not realize what being the object of ridicule can do to a little girl’s self-esteem. You’re that child’s mother, and you know what to do — so do it. Sometimes girls have to stick together, and this is one of them.

DEAR ABBY: After 26 years of marriage, I recently left my husband. We live only a few blocks away from each other, so we run into each other often at the store, the gas station, everywhere.

My problem is more about running into some of the women he cheated on me with. One of them always ends up at the same shopping center or restaurant I happen to be at. She thinks I don’t know who she is. At first I didn’t want to say anything to her, but now it has really gotten to me.

What can I tell her the next time she meets up with me? I want to keep myself from yelling at her. Please help me. — CAN’T FIND THE WORDS IN HOUSTON

DEAR CAN’T: You don’t know whether the woman your ex cheated with is stable or some kind of wing nut. Sometimes it’s safer not to be able to “find the words” rather than pick a fight. My advice is to avoid her as much as possible.

DEAR ABBY: I recently took a long international flight. The man sitting next to me coughed during the eight-hour flight without once covering his mouth.

What is a polite way to tell someone to cover his/her mouth when coughing? Two days into my trip, I developed a fever and a bad cough, so it seems he passed his illness on to me. — FEVERISH FLIER

DEAR FLIER: Your seat partner showed an extreme lack of consideration not only for you, but also for other passengers seated in his immediate vicinity — and it’s very possible he infected others besides you.

It is not impolite to ASK people who cough and sneeze to please cover their mouth so you won’t catch what they have, and that’s what you should have done right away, or ask to change your seat if an unoccupied one was available.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.

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