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Dear Abby: Homecoming rules put teen in awkward position

Abigail Van Buren • Updated Sep 22, 2018 at 8:00 PM

DEAR ABBY: Homecoming is next month, and we are not allowed to take outside dates. My girlfriend goes to a different school and doesn’t want me taking anyone else. My school is very small (only 60 kids in the whole high school) and not asking a girl to the dance is frowned upon. It’s the custom to ask one of your classmates to homecoming.

My girlfriend grew up in a bigger school where homecoming is much more important. She’s convinced I’m going to be someone else’s Prince Charming for the night. What she can’t understand is that it’s nothing like that where I go. Taking someone to the dance at my school isn’t romantic – it’s a gentlemanly thing to do. You pick any girl who hasn’t been asked and go with her. 

I’d like to ask someone – as friends only – to the homecoming dance, but my girlfriend gets incredibly upset when I talk about it. Please tell me what to do. — ONLY A DANCE IN TEXAS

DEAR ONLY A DANCE: Your girlfriend needs to be less controlling and more understanding. You have already explained that not taking someone to the homecoming dance is frowned upon in your community. So what if you are “someone else’s Prince Charming” for one evening? Your girlfriend can’t attend, so why not be a good sport and let you make someone happy for one night? What you should do is go to the dance and, if your girlfriend still doesn’t understand, ask your mother to explain it to her “woman to woman.”

DEAR ABBY: I live in a duplex, and my neighbor has a cat I’ll call “Sox” that’s positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). I’m a cat lover with a kitty of my own. 

To prevent the spread of infection, FIV cats are never supposed to be allowed outside, but my neighbor lets Sox come and go as he pleases. Abby, he comes to our house and uses our cat door to access our cat food and water bowl. I know Sox is at times left without food and water, so I’m reluctant to restrict his access to our food, but my cat has picked up respiratory infections because Sox contaminated the bowl. I also have to get my cat tested for FIV during his annual exams, at an added cost of $60.

My question: Would it be fair of me to request that my neighbor pay for some or all of the extra expenses associated with treatment and testing due to the FIV exposure? I have asked if she could offer Sox my brand of kibble at her house so he’ll be less interested in coming to our house unless he really needs food or water. She refused. I’m not sure if I’m asking too much, or if I should expect her to work with me to help offset the costs of her free-roaming, FIV-infected kitty. — FELINE CARE

DEAR FELINE: Under the circumstances, I don’t think it’s unfair to ask your irresponsible neighbor to cooperate with you on this. However, if she wouldn’t spring for something as simple as the kibble, don’t hold your breath. 

The solution to your problem is to make Sox’s access to your home impossible by securing the cat door. And if her cat is mingling with and possibly infecting other cats in the neighborhood, call Animal Control and report it. 

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

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