DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old girl from Serbia. I have been in U.S. for two years and I'm studying English in an ESL class. I read your column and could use some help to solve my problem because I am very upset.
I have known my best friend, "Vanessa," for a year and a half. She is my age and we were very close. She had to leave school because her family moved. I can't visit her because she is too far away. I cried because I don't know if she is going to remember me or if she is going to forget all about me. I'm so afraid I am going to lose her. Can you help me? -- SAD IN BUFFALO
DEAR SAD: You are obviously doing well in your ESL studies, and for that I congratulate you. Because you and Vanessa no longer live close does not mean that you can't still be friends. Although she has moved to a different geographical location, you can maintain a friendship because she is as near as your phone or computer.
Because you want to still be a part of her life, keep her updated on what is going on in your life and ask her to do the same. That is the way long-distance relationships are maintained, and some of them have been known to last a lifetime.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating my boyfriend, "Adam," for three years. Although we are young, we are serious about our relationship. Not too long after we started dating, Adam began staying over at my house on most weekends. I live with my mom, who is 47.
For the past year when Adam comes to visit, my mom has been coming out of her bedroom in her bra and panties, for the most part exposed. She also makes flirtatious comments to Adam that I feel are completely inappropriate.
I have tried talking to her about it, letting her know how uncomfortable Adam and I and some of my friends are about it. I hoped she would understand, but she continues with the flirting and underdressing. What can I do about this? I'm desperate to try anything. -- DESPERATE IN MAINE
DEAR DESPERATE: You may be desperate, but not as desperate as it appears your mother is for attention. Because talking to her hasn't helped, accept that she is not going to change her behavior. Have Adam stay over less often. When you meet with your friends, do it at someone else's house. And if you can afford to move elsewhere, you should consider it.
DEAR ABBY: I am a single mother of a 12-year-old boy. Three or four of his friends are constantly over at our house, and I feel obligated to feed and/or entertain them. Their parents don't send money for their meals and often don't even call to check on them, so they are left spending the night here.
I don't mind the boys staying with us, but I don't think I should be expected to pay for their food and fun or feel guilty if my son and I eat and they don't. Any suggestions? -- SINGLE MOM IN THE SOUTH
DEAR SINGLE MOM: Call the boys' parents and have a friendly chat with them. I agree that the current situation isn't fair to you, and because the boys are at your home so often, their parents should be chipping in. Alternatively, start sending the boys home at dinner time.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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