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Posted on Sat, Apr 14, 2012 : 5 a.m.

Girl chasing limelight should keep her feet on the ground

By Dear Abby


I am a 16-year-old girl and I want to become famous. My mom says that's not a real job. I was in magazines when I was little, but now that I'm older, I want to be a singer or actress. What should I do? -- HEADING FOR FAME IN OHIO


Listen to your mother. Fame, if one can achieve it, is usually accomplished after years of planning and hard work. If there is community theater in your area, volunteer and become involved. Plan to study music, drama and speech -- as well as another subject so you can support yourself if it takes awhile for you to become famous. (This is called "Plan B.")

There's an old saying: "Luck" happens at the intersection of opportunity and preparation. The trick is to be there at the right time.


My father passed away four years ago. Right after his funeral I found a bottle of Viagra hidden in the trunk of his car. My sister and I agreed that we should keep it to ourselves and not tell my mother, but Mom and I are extremely close and I feel guilty keeping this secret.

My father had multiple affairs while he was married to Mom, so it wouldn't surprise me if he was cheating on her. Because of conversations that I have had with her, I am 100 percent sure she didn't know he was using Viagra. My mother remarried two years ago. Does she have the right to know, or should my sister and I take it to our graves? -- TWO SISTERS IN CALIFORNIA


Your father's time on earth is over. Your mother is happily (I hope) remarried and has gone on with her life. I see no reason to revisit your father's probable indiscretions at this late date. It's time to let him and this subject rest in peace.


I love my husband dearly, but I have a problem. He talks too much. I'll give you an example: Instead of saying I'd had surgery, he told people I'd had surgery because when I laughed I would wet my pants, so they had to go in and re-suspend my bladder. I could hardly believe my ears.

The latest is, he posted something on Facebook about a family member that was also very personal. I have asked him many times to keep details between us, but it does no good. What can I say to him to get this point across? I'm at a loss. -- FRUSTRATED IN THE SOUTH


It's not what you should say to him, it's what you should not say. Because your husband lacks judgment, be careful about sharing sensitive information with him and warn your relatives to do the same.


I have a message for seniors and others who live alone: You need a friend or neighbor to keep in touch with you. Recently at the condo complex where I live, someone complained to the management office about a dog that wouldn't stop barking. When there was no answer on the phone or at the door, they went in. The woman had died and no one knew but her dog.

Our single neighbors now make a point of keeping in touch, if only to say hello and let us know they're OK. -- CONNECTED IN PALM COURT, FLA.


That's good advice -- because the sad circumstance you described happens more often than most people would think. A similar thing also occurred in a condominium development where I lived. A word to the wise ...

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.)