DEAR ABBY: My 17-year-old stepdaughter, “Audra,” got her driver’s license a few months ago and has started pressuring us to put her on our car insurance. When we told her that we can’t afford it and that if she wants to be on the insurance she has to get a job and pay for it, she had a temper tantrum.
About a month ago my husband wanted her to go to the store for him. We live in a rural area, and everything is some distance away. After she left he asked me whether I was mad that he let her take the car. I told him I thought he was asking for trouble sending her out with no car insurance. He said, “But she wants to drive so badly.”
My husband now wants me to let her take me shopping and bring along our two small kids. If Audra gets into an accident, we could be sued for everything we have. No one is a great driver when they first start driving, but she is a beginner without insurance.
I have considered calling the police and telling them she’s driving without insurance. What do I do? — No Insurance in New York
DEAR NO INSURANCE: Stick to your guns. It appears Audra has some growing up to do before she starts driving. If at the age of 17 she’s still having tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, she’s not emotionally mature enough to be behind the wheel of a car.
Your concerns about her getting into an accident are common sense. Transporting small children in a car driven by an uninsured, inexperienced driver is not advisable.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 28-year-old gay man who recently graduated with a liberal arts degree. I have always struggled to support myself. I’m often discouraged because of professional and personal mistakes, which lead me to be pessimistic about my future.
I want to date. I know love isn’t going to be the save-all, but it would be nice to hang out with someone from time to time. My problem is, in the past men have been critical of my lack of success. They are often unimpressed with me. Successful men won’t date me. Yet I feel intellectually incompatible with the blue-collar guys I’ve been with.
I’d like to be able to have conversations about literature, film and maybe world events, but the men I’m drawn to are out of my league. Must I suck it up and take what I can get? Do you think that maybe if my life were in order I’d have better luck with men? — Denver Po’Boy
DEAR DENVER PO’BOY: I do. It appears that in addition to self-esteem problems you are drawn to men who are intellectual snobs. Intelligent, successful men — and women — are attracted to people who feel good about themselves and have interesting things to say. Because these individuals are often “targets,” they are not particularly drawn to people who might regard them as meal tickets.
So by all means get your life in order. When you dwell less on your mistakes (we all make them) and think positively, your chances of finding friends like yourself will be better.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.