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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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As bond grows, you can raise chastity issue

Kathy Mitchell Marcy Sugar Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I’m 18 years old and a virgin in every sense of the word. I’ve dated and kissed guys, but that’s as far as it’s ever gone. I have no desire to be sexually active, because I vowed years ago to save myself for the man I marry.

I recently started seeing a really nice guy who is a year older than I am. I haven’t told him that I’m a virgin, because if I do, I also have to tell him that I don’t plan on sleeping with him unless it’s our wedding night. I’m not ready to get married, but I don’t want to drive him away. Also, I don’t want him to see me as some sort of conquest.

I know if he cares about me, he will understand my desire to remain chaste. But I’ve already been dumped for sticking to my morals, and I don’t want to lose this guy. Should I tell him? Or should I wait until things get more serious? – Chaste at U of I

Dear Chaste: There’s no reason to tell him now. As you well know, any guy who would dump you because you won’t sleep with him isn’t the right guy for you. Get to know him better and allow him the opportunity to learn what a great person you are before throwing sex into the mix. As the relationship progresses, it will be more natural for you to tell him that you are saving yourself for marriage. We hope he respects your decision and sticks around.

Dear Annie: I am a 31-year-old mother of two and have been battling severe depression for half my life. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Last year, I had a severe breakdown, attempted suicide and checked myself into a hospital for a week. I realized then that my job was a very big part of my problem. I have had over 30 jobs since I was old enough to work.

My husband, my doctor and I decided it would be best for me to apply for disability and stay home. This has reduced my stress level, but I still must take over 20 pills a day to control my moods and potential psychotic episodes.

My question is, how do I deal with people who ask what is wrong with me? If I simply tell them I am disabled, they always seem to pry. I look perfectly normal, although I’ve gained some weight in the last six months due to my meds. People even have had the gall to say that I am just working the system and that mental illness is not a real disability. I’d like to see them walk a mile in my shoes. How am I supposed to respond? – Depressed and Embarrassed

Dear Depressed: You do not owe these clods an explanation. If you say, “I have a disability,” and they continue to ask questions, simply tell them, “I’d rather not discuss it.” Repeat it as often as you need to. Anyone who thinks you are faking disease, or that mental illness is not “real,” is suffering from an inadequate education. Change the subject or ignore them.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from the woman who complained that people make stupid remarks about the physical appearance of an adopted child. I have been an adoption advocate for decades and have heard it all. But the best comment was from an adopted child, around age 8, who said to the thoughtless person, “God gave Mom and Dad my sisters, but they chose me themselves. That’s why I look different.”

I always thought the parents of this wonderful child were smart, loving and very blessed. – Sioux Falls, S.D.

Dear Sioux Falls: We agree. Thanks for sharing.

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