DEAR ABBY: I'm a single guy, 33 years old. I am 6 feet 9 inches tall, and defined as husky. I only need to enter a room and it gets quiet followed by a "funny" comment about my size. I smile and laugh to put people at ease. Then I'm forgotten, a gentle giant who is called on only when people want something.
I'm sorry to say women either want nothing to do with me, or something to do with my wallet. I don't enjoy spending my life alone looked at like a freak of nature. But morning comes and I carry on in pain while wearing a smile.
I keep hoping to find that special someone who would hold me and tell me it is going to be OK. It would be nice to smile because I'm happy instead of doing it to hide pain. Do you think it will happen someday? Maybe? -- HURTS TO SMILE
DEAR HURTS: Yes, I do, and I'd like to suggest two things you can do to make it happen. The first is to contact a group called Tall Clubs International. It's a not-for-profit social organization for tall adults (men must be at least 6 feet 2 inches and women at least 5 feet 10 inches) that was founded in the late 1930s. It provides members with social activities and travel to cities around the U.S. and Canada for gatherings. The toll-free phone number is 888-468-2552 and the website is www.tall.org. Through this group you can meet people with whom you see eye to eye.
I would also suggest that you talk about your self-esteem issues and sadness with a licensed mental health professional. You are not a "freak" -- you're a big guy with a big heart and the same need to feel accepted and wanted as everyone else.
P.S. If you repeatedly encounter women who are only after your wallet, then you're hanging around with the wrong crowd.
DEAR ABBY: After 29 years of marriage, I am leaving. I took off my wedding ring about three weeks ago, and the indentation it left is like a permanent scar -- a painful reminder of a failed marriage. Do you have any suggestions to lessen the mark left on my finger? I have considered buying myself a large precious gemstone in celebration of my freedom, but I would like to know if there are any alternatives. I'm not opposed to plastic surgery if it is necessary. -- MARKED FOR LIFE IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR MARKED: If you buy yourself a large ring for the third finger of your left hand, people may think you are engaged or still married. My advice is to consult a dermatologist about the mark left by your wedding ring. It's possible that some of the injectable "fillers" that are used to lessen facial lines could also work for your finger. (I'll bet it won't be the first time the doctor has been asked this question.)
DEAR ABBY: I am a middle-aged woman in a five-year relationship with another woman. My girlfriend lives in another city and shares her home with her 30-year-old son.
During a conversation recently, she mentioned that her son massages her feet at night. I often massage her feet, and I know that foot rubs are sensual and somewhat intimate. I feel it is inappropriate for her adult son to be doing this. What do you think? -- BEFUDDLED IN FLORIDA
DEAR BEFUDDLED: I think it depends upon who is doing the rubbing and the circumstances. When someone gets a foot rub from a lover or a spouse, it can be a form of foreplay. When it's done during a pedicure, it's not. I seriously doubt the woman gets turned on when her son massages her tootsies, so forget about it!
TO MY JEWISH READERS: Sundown marks the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During this 24-hour period, observant Jewish people fast, engage in reflection and prayer, and formally repent for any sin that might have been committed during the previous Hebrew year. To all of you -- may your fast be an easy one.
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.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)