Q: I need help developing a response to a very rude question. My daughter recently turned 13. It seems that every time we go to a gathering and the moms get together talking, someone will ask me if my daughter has gotten her period yet.
It isn’t even a question from people I’m close with or who really know my daughter. She would be mortified if she knew that people fixated on it. What is a good way to reply that it is none of their business without seeming rude? — Offended in N.Y.C.
A: My goodness, what a question. And from someone who is only an acquaintance. If the person is someone I don’t know well, I would reply, “That’s a personal, private matter between my daughter and me.” Or, if I was feeling mischievous, I might smile and say, “She hasn’t had one for the last four months and it’s beginning to worry me.” (Just kidding.)
Q: I am curious about your opinion on setting people up on dates. I am considering introducing one of my best friends, “Sierra,” to my uncle “Wade.” Do you think it’s a good idea to set a friend up with a family member? I’m worried if it doesn’t work out that my friendship with her won’t be the same. You advice is greatly appreciated. — Cupid in Peoria
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A: I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules about this. If you think Sierra and Wade have enough in common that they would enjoy meeting each other, go ahead and introduce them. If it works out, fine. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t have a negative impact on your relationship with her. Personal chemistry is hard to predict, and if they are both mature individuals, neither should blame you if there isn’t a “spark” between them.
Q: I’m a 16-year-old piano student. My piano teacher is a wonderful person and I enjoy taking lessons from her, but there is one problem: She is always late.
Usually it’s 15 to 20 minutes, but other times I might be kept waiting for an hour or more. She also switches my lesson because of her busy schedule, which means I have to forgo many activities at the last minute. I have never missed anything important, but still, I am annoyed when I have to miss something I was looking forward to for a piano lesson.
I’m not sure what to do. How should I tell her to start coming on time? I really don’t want to find another teacher, but this is very annoying. — Frustrated in Wisconsin
A: I don’t blame you for being annoyed. Before your next lesson, talk with the woman and tell her how you feel about her inability to stay on schedule. She isn’t your “friend”; she is paid for these sessions. An occasional 15-minute wait is understandable; making someone wait an hour or more is inconsiderate and disrespectful. If she can’t do better than this, you might be happier if you found another teacher, and she might be happier because she’ll be less overscheduled.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.