Q: I am at the end of my wits, and I need some answers. I am almost 13 and dread being a teenager because I don’t want things to be complicated. I used to have depression and felt suicidal, but I never told anybody. I eventually got over it and am now physically fine. But I’m not emotionally stable.
Recently, I was told things I don’t know how to react to. Among them was, “Wow, your voice is deep,” and, “Your laugh sounds like a witch.” Most of the time I’m a happy-go-lucky person, but in the last few weeks I have been flickering from happy to sad and have no idea how I feel. It’s almost like I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m wondering, is this a mental disorder? Or am I simply being silly? — Confused Teen in the South
A: I do not think you are being silly. However, I DO think you should have been discussing your feelings with your parents since the time you began feeling depressed to the point of feeling suicidal.
Whether your mood swings are symptoms of something serious, I’m not qualified to say. But I hope you will show this letter to your parents and tell them you wrote it. If you do have some sort of mental disorder (which I doubt), the sooner you are properly diagnosed and treated, the better it will be for you.
Q: My wife and I attended a party hosted by a well-respected couple who love to entertain. They have a spotless, beautiful home and are the essence of what you would hope to find in party hosts. Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the door, but before we could step inside, the stench of cat urine overpowered us. It was overwhelming, and we have to assume that everyone else smelled it, too.
My wife and I are torn about to what to do. We have great respect for this couple. They are pillars of our community.
I say, to save future embarrassment, that an anonymous, carefully written note alerting them to this odor should be sent to them, saying that a problem “may” exist and providing them the opportunity to resolve the smell. My wife says absolutely not. Your thoughts? — Feline Blues in the Midwest
A: If you lack the courage to sign your name, do not send the letter. It isn’t unheard of that pet owners become so used to the odors in their homes that they no longer smell them. Either address the problem head on — politely, of course — or refuse further invitations and invite the couple out instead.
Q: My daughter was recently married. A close family member — a cousin — gave her and our son-in-law a check at the reception. The check bounced.
It has been more than a month since the check was returned to them, and I’m sure their bank charged them for the overdraft. I was waiting, hoping they would reach out to my daughter or me and send a replacement check.
Should I call my cousin directly? I feel deep down that he must not know this happened because he would have done something about it. — Bounced Check in New Jersey
A: If you “know” deep down that this may have escaped your cousin’s notice, call him, let him know what happened and let him explain.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.