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Dear Abby: Surprise guest snoops while hostess sleeps

DEAR ABBY: I lived with my mother, who passed away recently. I invited my cousins over to the house for Thanksgiving. One of them invited a cousin-in-law I had never met.

When I woke from a nap, the cousin-in-law was here and asked me about our walk-in bathtub, which means that while I was asleep on my mother’s bed, she had entered my mother’s bedroom and private bathroom. I was flabbergasted.

She also asked to keep a program I showed her from Mom’s service. I wanted to refuse (I still haven’t sent programs to out-of-state friends and relatives and am unsure how many I may need), but I let her keep it.

Should I say something to let her know how inappropriate it was for her to give herself a tour of my home before she even met me? — INVADED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR INVADED: No, but you should absolutely say something to the cousin who invited a stranger to your Thanksgiving dinner without permission, and compounded it by leaving that person unsupervised while you slept. While you may not be able to teach either of them better manners, at least you will have made clear that you won’t tolerate that kind of rudeness in the future.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 31-year-old nail biter and have been one for as long as I can remember. As an adult, I’m now attacking my cuticles to the point that they bleed. If I feel a hangnail, I have to push it down or rip it out.

It may be stress-related, but sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing it. I have stopped biting my nails twice, but that’s because I used to get manicures weekly. I can’t afford them anymore. The stuff that “tastes bad” doesn’t taste so bad it stops me.

I’d like to be able to show off my future wedding band. A co-worker said she thinks I have some sort of OCD. Could she be right? I know I need help. Do you have any suggestions on how I can help myself? — DIANA IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR DIANA: I do have one that may be helpful. Keep an emery board and cuticle scissors nearby at all times — including in your purse, at your desk and where you watch television. That way, if you break a nail or get a hangnail, you can smooth it out immediately and you won’t feel so compelled to chew.

Try it. Others have told me it fixed their problem.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old virgin and have never been in a relationship. I would like to wait to have sex until I’m married. Do you think I’ll regret it, since it doesn’t look like I’ll be married before I’m 30?

Do you have any thoughts on when to tell a man I’m dating that I’m still a virgin? Should it be on the second or third date, when we become exclusive, or after that? And if I ever get exclusive, how would I tell that person I’ve been single all of my life without sounding like I’m weird? — STILL SINGLE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR SINGLE: There’s nothing “weird” about a 30-year-old man or woman being single these days. People are marrying later than in years past, so you shouldn’t feel defensive about it.

As to when to reveal that you are a virgin, the time to discuss it would be when a relationship progresses to the point where physical intimacy enters the picture.

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.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)