DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old identical twin. My sister and I are sick of the whole “twin” thing and want to go to separate schools. We really want to be our own people. We have wanted this for a long time now. However, I’m not sure we can because, where I live, you have to go to the school in the town you live in.
Do you have any suggestions on things we can do to make new, different friends, and how we can look different from each other? We are moving this year, so next fall we will be in a new school. — The Twin Thing in New Hampshire
DEAR TWIN THING: You and your sister are smart girls. What you want to do will be healthy for both of you, and I congratulate you for wanting to do it. It’s important that each of you develop as individuals, and the move will give the perfect opportunity to start.
If you have been dressing alike, make a point of not doing it from now on. If you have been wearing your hair in the same style, change that too. When you enroll in the new school, join separate clubs, go out for different sports, etc. If you do, people will no longer perceive you as molded from the same cookie cutter. Good luck.
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DEAR ABBY: As a baby shower gift for my (soon-to-be) grandson, I plan on opening up a UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors) account for his college education with a $5,000 initial deposit. My idea is to add $1,000 every year on his birthday for the first five years.
Would it be tacky to challenge, or encourage, his other three grandparents to contribute to the account by matching their contributions every year up to my $1,000? Or would it be better to just tell them my plans and let them know they can also make deposits to the account? I don’t know the financial situations of the others, and I don’t want to offend anyone. Your thoughts? — About to Be a Grandpa in Arizona
DEAR GRANDPA: I’m voting for your second idea, for the reason you gave. While the concept of an education fund for your grandbaby is laudable, making it a “challenge” might create financial stress for the other grandparents and be perceived as one-upmanship if they are unable to donate as much to the fund as you do.
DEAR ABBY: An older friend and I have exchanged emails since last spring. Hers have been mostly political and disparaging toward minorities. I asked her to please not send this stuff since we have opposite opinions on the subject, and I don’t plan to change my mind. I enjoy our in-person talks because they are nothing like the emails she sends, which are “forwards” somebody else has put together.
I quit reading them, but is there a way to politely stop her from disseminating nasty propaganda? I have tried fact-checking and sending corrections to her and to those on the long list of people she has sent these emails. It doesn’t work. — Fact Checker
DEAR FACT CHECKER: Because someone sends you emails does not mean you must read them all. Filter your email so that the political rants go into a special folder, then delete them en masse.