DEAR ABBY: My sister, "Cindy," and some of her friends have been playing the "choking game" where you deprive yourself of oxygen by tying something around your neck in order to get high. They say it's safe because they do it with someone else there to make sure they're OK. However, last week there was an article in the paper about a boy who died doing it.
Cindy asks me to monitor her when she does it in our room. I don't want to help her, but she says she's "hooked" on the high she gets. I'm afraid if I refuse, she'll do it anyway. I love my sister very much and would never forgive myself if something happened to her.
Cindy and I have an understanding. We don't tell our parents on each other, and she hasn't told on me when she's known things that would get me in trouble. However, I think I should make an exception when her life may be in danger. Do you agree? -- WORRIED SISTER, RANCHO CORDOVA, CALIF.
DEAR WORRIED SISTER: The fact that Cindy says she's hooked on the high should tell you that if she gets a strong enough craving and you're not around, she's likely to play the game alone. What she's doing could be considered a form of Russian roulette. Because we don't allow people we love to take foolish chances with their lives, you should inform your parents immediately.
DEAR ABBY: I am 19 years old. I have seen you help many people through your column, and I'm hoping you can help me.
I have been with my fiance, "Jeremy," for three years, and I used to be crazy about him. Now that our wedding day is approaching, I'm beginning to have second thoughts about our entire relationship. He constantly has to know where I am and what I'm doing. He also has a temper. If I don't make him first priority all the time, he gets mad and we end up in a huge fight.
I am about ready to call it quits, but I'm afraid because of the emotional state he is in. The last time I tried to end the relationship, Jeremy tried to kill himself. I need to know if I should say "I do" even though he and I aren't exactly getting along right now. -- TRAPPED IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR TRAPPED: To marry someone because you are "afraid to call it quits" is the wrong reason to marry anyone. You have described a young man who is immature and self-destructive. It's time to call it quits, but before you do, contact Jeremy's family — preferably his parents — and warn them that their son may need psychiatric help once you tell him the wedding is off. (It's the truth.) Then tell him in the presence of your family and, because he is unstable, put some distance between the two of you after you deliver the bad news.
DEAR ABBY: I am in my late 20s and have a close bond with a younger female cousin of mine. We are good friends and enjoy being together.
Sometimes when we go to a restaurant or a movie together, people give me funny looks. I guess they assume I am an adult who is taking advantage of a young girl. What can I do to get people to realize she's just a younger cousin? -- OLDER COUSIN IN THE WEST
DEAR OLDER COUSIN: Ignore them. Evil is in the eye of the beholder. Don't make something your problem when it's really theirs.