Soon-to-be-ex still on family guest list

Dear Abby: My divorce from "Vince" will be final in a few weeks. We have two sons together and we communicate well. Since our breakup, my parents have continued their relationship with him. They say, "You divorced him, we didn't."

They have confirmed that he will be invited to all holiday events. I am so upset about it that I now want nothing to do with them. Vince has his own family who have unanimously removed me from their lives.

I'm hurt by my parents' actions. Am I wrong? And are my feelings normal? – Lost My Parents in The Divorce in California

Dear Lost: As the father of your children, Vince will always be a part of your life, so my advice is to accept it graciously. Because Vince had a good relationship with your parents, I can understand why they would extend an invitation to the father of their grandchildren. Whether he will choose to accept is the question. His family may have declared you persona non grata because in their eyes you divorced HIM.

That said, your feelings are your feelings. Rather than say they are "wrong," I would point out that they are unproductive at this point. As you move forward with your emotional life, I predict this will become less of an issue.

Dear Abby: I am a 50-year-old divorced man. I use an online dating service to meet women my age, but I'm extremely frustrated by the lack of courtesy.

Why is it so hard for a woman to simply write, "Thanks, but I'm not interested" after getting a note of inquiry? My photos are recent, I'm polite and I send thoughtful notes that show I have read their profiles carefully and think there's a chance we have something in common. I admit, I'm not the handsomest man, but I hold a master's degree and I am financially stable.

I have sent a dozen notes over the last few months, and not one woman has been polite enough to respond. Any thoughts? – Dateless in Dayton

Dear Dateless: Please don't let the lack of response make you quit putting yourself out there, because eventually you're going to find someone if you keep trying. You are an intelligent man, and I am sure you have much to offer some lucky woman.

However, I would delicately point out to you that by not responding to your notes these women ARE sending you a message. It is possible that because the "chemistry" is wrong, they do not wish to get into a dialogue.

Dear Abby: I'm a 17-year-old girl and every time I meet people, they think I am 12. How do I look more my age? Please help me. – Honey in Georgia

Dear Honey: A way to accomplish it would be to go to a department store and ask at the cosmetics counter about a demonstration makeover to achieve a more sophisticated look. While you're there, I'm sure a clothing salesperson would also be happy to accommodate you in finding items that girls your age are buying. A different hairstyle could also "update" your image if you are wearing it the way you did a few years ago.

P.S. While you may not think it now, later on you will regard your youthful appearance as an asset. Trust me on that!

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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