Dear Abby: Long hugs from mom’s friend creep out teen boy

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DEAR ABBY: I’m 16, go to high school, play football and make good grades. At church every Sunday, a lady who is one of my mom’s friends always makes a point of coming up to me to talk. She says things about me growing up to be a man, and asks me if I’m dating. She always gives me an extended hug.

It’s really uncomfortable for me, and embarrassing. I tried to talk to my mom about it, but she just said her friend is a very affectionate person. To me, the way she does it is creepy and scary. I don’t want to be unfriendly to anybody, but this is different. Any suggestions? — ENOUGH ALREADY, IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR ENOUGH: Yes. Listen to your gut. Tell your mother her friend is coming across as creepy and scary. Because her behavior makes you uncomfortable, avoid physical contact with her by stepping back when she tries to hug you. And if she brings up the subject of whether you’re dating, change the subject (“Lovely sermon, wasn’t it, Mrs. Robinson?”). Then walk away.

DEAR ABBY: I’ve been living with my boyfriend for several years, and he has this habit of not locking the front door. Is this a guy thing? I have told him repeatedly that I don’t feel safe when he does this, yet every other morning I wake up and the front door is not locked!

I feel like a broken record. His response is: “I’m here. Nothing is going to happen.” He also doesn’t lock the balcony door. Even though we are on the second floor, I still hate coming home to doors in the apartment that are unlocked. It makes me feel vulnerable.

Am I overreacting? How can I talk to him about it without sounding like a nag? — AMBER IN TEXAS

DEAR AMBER: You are not overreacting. Your boyfriend appears to be operating under the delusion that he is a superhero. Too often we see reports in the news about yet another tragedy, after which a neighbor appears on camera saying, “I don’t understand it. Things like this don’t happen in our neighborhood.” Because you haven’t been able to convince him to change his ways, the solution to your problem is to take the initiative and lock the doors yourself.

DEAR ABBY: I bought several designer outfits for my infant niece. My sister was thrilled with the quality and brands until a friend told her that I had purchased them at a consignment shop. The clothes still have the original tags on them and were clearly never worn. My sister returned the clothes to me and told me that because they were from a consignment shop, she did not want them and they wouldn’t be used. Is something wrong with gifting an item purchased at a consignment shop? — GIFT GIVING IN NEW YORK

DEAR GIFT GIVING: Of course not! Your sister was extremely rude to do what she did. And I have to wonder about the “friend” who felt compelled to tell her where the baby gifts had been purchased, in light of the fact that the price tags were still on the garments and they had never been worn.

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.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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