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Dad Ditched, Now Mom Dating More Than Her Daughter
I'm a sophomore in high school, and this is the first year I'm allowed to go out on group dates. I was so excited to get to 10th grade because this was when my big sister Darby was allowed group dates, and I remember watching her get ready to go out with her friends and how much fun she had and how she got her first boyfriend in tenth grade.
But my family is different now than it was four years ago when Darby was my age. A year ago, my parents got divorced because my dad fell in love with my mom's best friend. I still can't believe it happened. Like, how could my mom's friend just do that behind my mom's back, and how could my dad do that to my mom? I am not speaking to my dad because what he did makes me sick.
But anyway, my mom was so sad and lonely for a while, and then she put herself on this online dating site. So then she started dating, and she loves to date! She got all happy and she dates just about every weekend and sometimes on a weeknight, too. She bought new clothes that are more revealing, like shorter skirts and high heels. She goes out a lot more than I do! She doesn't even ask about my group date if I go out with a bunch of kids to the movies. I feel like she doesn't even care. She used to wait up after Darby's dates so they could talk about it and drink hot chocolate. She never does that with me.
It is embarrassing to have a mom who is dating more than I am. It's like she's more popular and cuter, which is a weird way to think about my mom. But I feel awful to admit this because I want my mom to be happy. I remember how sad she was before, and I feel like a mean person when I have these bad thoughts. I don't want to feel bad and angry but deep inside, I do. Please tell me how to be a better person. Thank you. —Amanda P.
Say it loud and say it proud: AMANDA P. IS A GREAT PERSON! There is not one thing you said about anything you've done or anything you feel that is "bad." In fact, just the opposite: You're expressing great concern for your mom and compassion for what she went through. Adults messed up here, girlfriend, not you! If anyone should be feeling "bad", it's your dad and your mom's so-called "best friend." I often wonder at the selfishness of which people are capable, like what they want trumps how much it will hurt people they've vowed to love and care for.
In this entire equation, one of the people who has been hurt the most is ...
You are not not not being selfish. If you have a good relationship with Darby, confide how you feel to your big sister, and let your sis talk to your mom. I bet your mom doesn't even realize that she's not giving you the attention and time you need and deserve. In my humble opinion — and hey, it's my column (smiley face) — your mom needs to cut down on her new dating life by about 50 percent and put that energy into being with you and building you up
I'm just going to be totally blunt here: My parents are the cheapest people in the world. We aren't rich by a long shot but we aren't exactly poor either. Well, my parents act like we are poor. Our vacuum cleaner doesn't even work, like it hardly picks up anything. It's too far gone to get it fixed, but they refuse to buy a new one. We have three cats, and there is cat hair everywhere. I have to sweep our carpets! I'm the only one who cares. It is so gross. What do I do? —Cat Hair Girl
Hey, Cat Hair!
No vacuum ?? Can I just say: ewww? You can't sweep cat hair out of a carpet. But then you already know that. Try borrowing a vacuum from a friend, and Hoover the heck out of your carpet. I'm hoping that when your parents see how great the carpet looks, they'll want to own a vacuum. You can do some online research for affordable vacuums, and your parents can even pay the vacuum off monthly if they want. You could throw in something about lack of hygiene in your house without the carpet ever getting vacuumed or your personal mortification at going to school in a hair shirt. Whatever works.
Cherie Bennett is a best-selling author of books for teens and young adults. Visit her website at www.cheriebennett.com. To find out more about Cherie Bennett and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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