DEAR ABBY: I am a 12-year-old girl. My friend at school, “Mindy,” is being made fun of by her so-called “friends.” They tease and tease and tell Mindy they’re “just kidding,” but I can’t help thinking they really ARE making fun of her. Please tell me how to stick up for my friend. – CONCERNED IN MARYLAND

You are a supportive friend. Since it’s happening at school, report it to the principal – because what those students are doing could be interpreted as harassment.

Kids can be cruel, but it does not have to be tolerated. Your friend – and you – should be able to get an education in a safe environment.

DEAR ABBY: Three years ago, a friend of mine gave me your “Keepers” booklet. I enjoyed it very much. One of my favorite pieces was the poem about guest towels. (My mother always put out lovely guest towels, but few people ever used them.)

I would like to order a copy of “Keepers” for a friend who is going through a difficult time. I know the holidays will be depressing for her. I think it would inspire her and perhaps give her a lift. The ordering information I have is: “Send a self-addressed envelope, plus a check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) for each copy to: Dear Abby – Keepers, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)” Are the booklets still $5 and is the address still correct? – JENNIE A., IN LONGVIEW, TEXAS

Yes, that’s still correct ordering information. I’m pleased you enjoyed the poem about guest towels. From time to time, readers have asked me for copies to display in their powder rooms. Read on:


by Mabel Craddock

Please use me, guest;

Don’t hesitate.

Don’t turn your back

Or vacillate.

Don’t dry your hands

On petticoat,

On handkerchief,

Or redingote.

I’m here to use;

I’m made for drying.

Just hanging here

Gets very tiring.

DEAR ABBY: My teen-age daughter has a close girlfriend who (at 14) started having sex with a 17-year-old “family friend.” I happen to know that this girl’s mother was a teenage mom, and her goal has always been to prevent her daughter from repeating the same mistake.

My daughter made me promise not to “rat” on her friend to her mother, but I think the girl’s mom should know that her daughter is engaging in sexual relations — as well as the fact that they’re not using protection. However, I do not want to betray my daughter’s trust. Should I mind my own business, Abby? -ANONYMOUS MOM IN NEVADA

Absolutely not. A young woman’s future hangs in the balance. That mother needs to know her daughter is sexually active. Wouldn’t YOU want to know?

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

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