Who was it that said, and I can't quote directly since I can't find it, "Whenever I read Dear Abby I feel the world is dark and mean..."? I used to read Dear Abby every day, along with Ann Landers and Miss Manners (less than daily), and I had to agree when I heard that. Dear Abby's world is one of squalor and suffering; Miss Manners is filled with the ludic, the greedy, and the socially awkward; and Ann Landers just publishes letters from people who could be my grandma.
Anyway, this Dear Abby ran this question from a gay boy last Friday. How would you respond?
DEAR ABBY: I spent my high school years chasing girls and participating in sports. I made good grades and was popular with peers and faculty.
I have since graduated and entered college. I have also come out of the closet as gay. Due to popular sites such as Facebook, I have reunited with old friends who are interested to hear about my "new life."
With those not "in the know," I feel uncomfortable having to come out of the closet again and again. I don't feel ashamed about myself or my boyfriend, but I feel a certain discomfort when my former and present lives meet.
I have many friends, old and new, gay and straight, who I care about. But I feel some anxiety over the reactions I get from some of those people, even though they no longer hold a prominent place in my life. I'd greatly appreciate it if you could tell me how to handle and deal with such situations. -- Betwixt And Between In San Antonio
I'd say he should just add something undeniably gay to his FaceBook, etc., profiles and leave it at that. People will get the message if he puts up a pic of him kissing a dude in front of a rainbow flag with a post about how much he loves Madonna's new album (because only Europeans and gay boys can listen to that stuff, and this guy isn't spelling color with a "u").
Abby takes a different approach, asking Mr. San Antonio to accept the fact that he was deceitful, get used to the idea that he'll lose friends and loved ones, and sloth through all those conversations as a means to practice for future awkward conversations, since there is no sense in hoping for an end to his anxiety.
She falls short of telling him to accept the cruelty of the universe we're placed in against our will, so obviously Friday was a good day for her.