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Dear Abby: Can’t muster any love for her guy’s son

Dear Abby: I am in a great relationship with a wonderful man, “Kevin.” He loves me very much, and we get along well. I have three children – two with special needs – and Kevin loves them and treats them like his own. He also has a son, 6, who has cystic fibrosis.

I love Kevin and can see myself marrying him. The problem is, I don’t think I like his son. I’m affectionate with my own kids, but I have to force myself to be with this boy.

I don’t want to end my relationship with Kevin, but is it fair to stay with him if I don’t love his son, too?

– In Conflict in Northern California

Dear In Conflict: Frankly, it depends upon whether you can learn to love the boy. You say you don’t like him. Why not? Is he mean, dishonest, spoiled or too needy? Or could it be that he’s a living reminder that your boyfriend once loved another woman?

You may need an attitude adjustment. Can you focus on the positive qualities the boy has? That would be a good first step. If not, then for everyone’s sake, end the relationship now.

Too shy to help the needy?

Dear Abby: I am 12, and my mom is part of a church group (Unitarian). She recently told me she is taking me to her church where they are making pies for the homeless. Even though this is a nice act, I don’t want to be a part of it because I’m shy. When I told my mom, she said that she thought I was being rude and inconsiderate, and that she would make me come and ground me if I didn’t. What should I do?

– Shy Kid

Dear Shy Kid: If you have already told your mother the reason is your shyness, then I can’t think of a way to state it more clearly. She may feel that your help in the project is urgently needed, which is why she’s insisting. Or she may feel that it might help you to overcome your shyness. Sometimes when people work together for a worthy cause they forget about themselves and their insecurities. I hope you will give it a try – if only so you won’t be grounded.

Server with a pierced tongue

Dear Abby: Our waitress in a midlevel chain restaurant was friendly and helpful, but her tongue was pierced with a stud. It impaired her speech, making her hard to understand, and it was visible every time she spoke.

We are pretty liberal about most things, but it was difficult for us to enjoy our meal. Would it have been all right for us to ask for a different waitress?

Put Off in Tennessee

Dear Put Off: Yes. If you preferred that another server help you, it was within your rights to ask for one or ask to be moved to a table in another section of the restaurant.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com.