DEAR ABBY: When I was younger, I was engaged to a man I'll call "Jake." I was deeply in love with him, only to have my heart broken when he cheated on me, so I broke it off. A short time later, I developed feelings for his brother, "Jed." One thing led to another, and Jed and I are engaged to be married in two months.
When Jake found out I was dating Jed, he grew distant. I figured it was because he was in shock. Recently, he contacted me and invited me to dinner. Thinking it had to do with the wedding plans, I accepted. When we were getting ready to leave, Jake told me he still loved me and had made a terrible mistake. I had had a few drinks, and we ended up having a one-night stand.
I just found out I am pregnant, and I'm not sure if Jake is the father or Jed is. Honestly, I still love Jake, but he can't keep a job, and I don't think he could support me and a baby. What should I do? Should I keep my mouth shut and marry Jed, who has a good job and is faithful?
— Big mess in the South
DEAR BIG MESS: You would be doing a terrible disservice to Jed if you marry him while you "honestly" still love his brother. If you do, you will be in for a lifetime of guilt and frustration, and the chances are great that you and Jake won't be able to stay away from each other. While marriage under these circumstances may seem like an attractive solution for you economically, it doesn't take a crystal ball to predict it will be another disaster.
Instead of trying to take the easy way out, straighten your spine, fess up and do the right thing. A paternity test will determine which brother is the father of your child and the one who should support it.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old girl and 6 feet tall. I have already been through the worst of my insecurities, and even though I now have some confidence, my height still bothers me. I've always been taller than my peers and blamed my social problems on my height. Someone mentions it every day, and where I work, every other customer comments on it, too.
I try not to be upset over something I can't change. I know people don't mean to be hurtful, but it makes me feel like I stand out too much. I also feel like I'm too big and too awkward for normal activities. My pants are never long enough, and my skirts are always too short. I have to adjust car seats and gym equipment to fit.
Worst of all, it's off-putting to boys. Most of them are shorter and cite it as the reason they aren't interested in me romantically. I know this might seem trivial, but it's my biggest insecurity and hard to overcome. Please help.
— Tall problem in New Mexico
DEAR PROBLEM: Many people consider height to be an advantage. You might, too, once you decide to own and take pride in it.
Regarding your difficulty in finding clothes that fit, do some research online and you will discover stores that cater to tall women and men.
I can't wave a magic wand and fix the insecurities of the young men in your community and neither can you. This is why I'm advising you to broaden your horizons and look further for romance because it isn't beyond your reach. A way to do that might be to develop an interest in basketball, a sport that attracts tall people.
When you're older, check into a group called Tall Clubs International. If you are 21 and over 5 feet, 10 inches, you qualify to join and meet other people who won't be put off at all by your height. You will find them by going to tall.org.