A Rare Talk-Back Letter
Dear Margo: I know you do not normally print opinions regarding your advice, but I hope you will consider doing this with your response to the mother of the 7-year-old boy whose 8-year-old friend displayed inappropriate sexualization and reported that he’d performed oral sex on his older brother. You were right about the neighbor/friend, but you totally missed it on advising her about her own son.
Yes, her son sensed something was wrong and told his mom about it, but in no way does that mean that an 8-year-old has the maturity to remain safe in such a situation. He could become curious and uncertain. He could be exposed to the older brother. He may have been, in the manner of a child, asking his mother for help in removing himself from this “friendship.” He is at risk. — Midwest Mom
Dear Mid: You are correct about my rarely revisiting questions, but this situation is more dire than many, and I should have gone further with my advice — which a great many readers pointed out. Then, too, I neglected to articulate that many molesters have themselves been molested — and very often by a family member — so leaving things to the family may be tantamount to burying the issue. Here is just one more letter agreeing with you:
Dear Margo: I think you’re hoping the other mom will do the right thing, which is to get them into counseling and address the situation with third-party help. This is a hopeful assumption. My daughter was molested by her 15-year-old cousin when she was 4. Thankfully, I called the police and did not leave it to the parents to deal with the situation as they saw fit. It is often the case that a parent may want to keep the whole thing quiet, and therefore no authorities, no therapists. — Been There
Not Much Longer for Virginity
Dear Margo: I wrote you a few years ago about the fact that I was 27 and still a virgin. My sister was telling me to just go to a bar, pick up a guy and get it over with. I didn’t agree (and neither did you, lol). Well, long story short, I’m now 31, and guess what. I’m still a virgin. I have a full-time job, and I take care of myself, i.e., I am not ugly or obese. I know how to listen and be kind and loving.
The problem is, I don’t even get asked out on dates. I tried Internet dating, and it turned out that the first two men I met were married, and the third was quite literally the ugliest person (man or woman) I’ve ever seen. I don’t ask for much in a man, just that he be open-minded, not a racist or a bigoted fool (I have both black and gay family members) and not too old (my age range now is 25-40).
So, I only have two questions: What else could I do to meet someone, and how much longer should I wait before doing what my sister said and get it over with? — Virgin Be Gone
Dear Virg: Let’s focus. I don’t think your main objective is to lose your virginity, but, rather, to find a good guy to build a relationship with. I may sound like a broken record — sorry, a repeating CD — but the best way to meet someone who is not perverted, nuts or married (not that they are mutually exclusive) is through affinity groups. Do something that interests you, perhaps as a volunteer. Go to church or synagogue singles’ groups. Put the word out at work that you are in the market for a great guy.
As to your second question, I don’t think what we’re talking about is an item on a to-do list. I hope you will wait for it to mean something. — Margo, hopefully
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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Every Thursday and Friday, you can find “Dear Margo” and her latest words of wisdom on wowOwow