Dear Annie: I am a teenage girl. I always thought I was heterosexual, but lately, I have been paying a lot more attention to girls. In the locker room, I always find myself staring at their breasts. While all my friends are ogling Brad Pitt, I'm looking at Angelina Jolie.
I don't really consider guys anything more than friends. I've had crushes on a few of them, but that's it. Whenever I hug my girlfriends, though, I feel all warm inside and linger for longer than necessary. I love to bury my head in their hair. Hugging guys is nothing special. I've also had a few erotic dreams about girls.
Girls turn me on, but guys turn me off, and I think muscles on guys are really ugly. I have never wanted to get married, and I think sex with a guy is nasty.
I currently have a crush on my friend, "Jocelyn." I have no idea what my sexual orientation is anymore. To top it off, my parents are not open-minded about gays and lesbians. I know that ultimately the decision is in my hands, but can you help me figure this out? Or am I too young to know my sexual orientation? — Girl Who Likes Girls
Dear Girl: Here's what we can tell you. It is not uncommon for teenage girls to have crushes on members of the same sex. It is not unusual for girls to be fascinated by women's breasts, to think sex is nasty, to find muscles unappealing and to discover that hugging their friends is enjoyable. Does this make you gay? No.
However, it also doesn't mean you're not. It means you are having powerful sexual feelings and hormonal surges, which is normal for a teenager. Your sexual orientation will solidify as you get older, one way or another. If you need more information, try PFLAG (pflag.org) at 1726 M Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Dear Annie: Please let your readers know how much a simple card or phone call means to someone going through a difficult time. It was devastating and scary when I found out I had breast cancer. I had a mastectomy and went through five months of chemotherapy.
I was blessed to have many loving family members and friends who stood by me. Their phone calls, cards, meals, etc., kept me going. I am, however, having a difficult time getting over the hurt I feel from those family members and friends who were not there for me.
My husband says to forgive and move on, but this is difficult for me to do, and I have a hard time being around them. How do I get past this? — Hurt in New York
Dear Hurt: Many people have no idea how to respond when someone is seriously ill. Because of their own discomfort and awkwardness, they choose to do nothing. These friends and relatives no doubt feel guilty about their behavior. Work on forgiving them, but if you cannot, it's perfectly OK to limit your contact.
Dear Annie: This past summer, there have been several stories of children who became lost while camping or hiking.
I'm now 47 years old, but when I was 5, I was lost in the woods in Canada on a family vacation. From that day forward, all of the children on our many, many camping trips were required to wear a whistle on a string around the neck at all times. We were instructed that any time we found ourselves lost, we were to sit down and blow our whistle. Please pass this suggestion along. — Lori in St. Augustine, Fla.
Dear Lori: Many readers made the same suggestion, saying that all campers and hikers should learn that three blasts of a whistle indicates trouble. Our thanks to all who wrote.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2005. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.