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Dear Abby 10/17

Woman who's a real catch has trouble finding anglers

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Posted: October 16, 2007 5:04 p.m.
Updated: October 31, 2007 5:04 a.m.
    This may seem cocky, but my two problems with men are: I seem to attract creeps, and the kind of men I deserve don't think they've got a shot in hell, so they don't ask me out.
    Most of the dates and relationships I've had have happened because I asked the other person out. I've been in two major relationships with very attractive, bright men, and I'd like to experience that again.
    I'm so sick of meeting creeps! I really want someone in my league. I've been told a thousand times that I'm gorgeous, stunning, or asked why I'm not modeling. Yesterday someone called me Miss America. I'm well-read and in tune with the arts, smart and funny. Where are the male equivalents? -- DATELESS 23-YEAR-OLD
    DEAR DATELESS: They died of altitude sickness, trying to climb the pedestal you have placed yourself on. You have described your obvious selling points, but what about the quality of your character? Are you nice to people who don't want anything from you? Are you giving? Sensitive? Can you compromise? Are you interested in other people?
    Perfection does not exist in anyone. And the sooner you become less preoccupied with your own perfection, the more likely it is that you'll meet your male "equivalent."

    DEAR ABBY: I'm 30 years old and an intelligent person, but I'm embarrassed to say I'm stumped when I have to talk to someone who has recently experienced the loss of a loved one. I don't really know what to say, especially when the person is older and I have to convey my condolences on the phone. I can't make it a one-liner, and I don't know how to go about conversing about their loss.
    There have been a couple of situations recently that I avoided altogether because I didn't know what to say. Whatever I think of saying sounds too hollow and insincere to my ears, because I don't really know the pain of loss that they are experiencing. Can you help me here?
-- TOTALLY CLUELESS
    DEAR TOTALLY CLUELESS: This subject has been discussed before in my column, but because your problem is shared by so many readers, I'll do it again.
    When someone has experienced a loss, all you need to say is, "I heard the sad news and want you to know you're in my thoughts. I'm very sorry about your loss." It is the truth — it's not insincere or hollow. If the person wants to discuss it further, he or she will. Your job at that point is just to listen. There is no way you can make the pain go away. But sometimes talking about it, or even having a shoulder to cry on, can temporarily lighten someone's load.

    DEAR ABBY: When I was in high school I didn't bother getting a yearbook until my senior year. Now that I look back, I wish I had the ones from my first three years of high school. Is there any way to obtain old high school yearbooks? -- BELLE K., CADILLAC, MICH.
    DEAR BELLE: Contact the high school from which you graduated and make an inquiry. Also, if there is an alumni association, contact it to see if there are any extra yearbooks available for purchase.
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