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Posted on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Senior's refusal to 'sext' results in loss of friend

By Dear Abby


Two years ago, when I was in 10th grade, I had a best friend, "Ben." We talked all the time, shared secrets and always hung out together. I never regarded him as someone I'd like to date, so I never took his attention very seriously.

That summer, he texted me and asked me to send him a picture of my breasts. When I said no, he became pushy. I told him I didn't know what he was going to do with the picture, and I didn't want to get in trouble. He was upset that I didn't "trust" him. I tried to explain that I couldn't assume he wouldn't do anything to hurt me. We didn't talk the rest of the summer.

The following year we had a chemistry class together, and Ben acted like he didn't know me. He deleted my phone number and dropped me as a friend on Facebook. Now, in our final year of high school, he's in another class with me. He still won't acknowledge me and is always flirting with my best friend.

I have cried so much over Ben. I miss him a lot. I don't understand why he's treating me this way. What did I do that was so awful? Is something wrong with me? -- BEWILDERED IN PENNSYLVANIA


You did nothing wrong. You considered Ben to be a friend, and I assume that you aren't in the habit of showing your male friends your breasts. It seems only logical that you wouldn't send a picture that could wind up heaven knows where.

Ben is acting this way because he is trying to punish you for not giving him what he wanted. He's flirting with your friend to hurt you and/or make you jealous. These are not the actions of a friend, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you will be. Ben strikes me as immature and a user, so be glad you didn't do what he wanted. It was good common sense.


Regarding money and adult children, should a parent help all children equally if they are financially able to? Or should a parent offer help only to the children in need (medical expenses, kid in college, new washing machine, etc.)? If one child has a high-paying job, does he/she deserve any less from a parent in the end? -- WONDERING


Before deciding how to divide your assets, first discuss this with an attorney who specializes in wills, trusts and estate planning. From my perspective, if you leave an equal amount to each of your heirs, it will prevent hurt feelings and resentment among them after you are gone. Monies given before your death to one of your children should be tallied and deducted from the amount he or she is allotted in your will -- with an explanation of the reason why it is less.


I am torn between two important people in my life. My best friend and my husband graduate this year on the same day, one at 9 a.m., the other at 10 a.m., at two different colleges an hour and a half apart.

My friend says that because I was able to attend my husband's associate and bachelor degree graduations, I should attend her ceremony because I have never seen her graduate. However, I feel my husband's having earned his master's degree is a huge accomplishment, and that I should attend his graduation. What do you think, Abby? -- UNDECIDED IN ARKANSAS


I think you should follow your instincts, because they are exactly right. During your lifetime you will have many friends, but let's hope only one husband.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)