Dear Abby: I'm the happily married mother of two teenage boys. The other day I overheard my older son (age 17) talking with a friend about "twerking." I have never heard of it and now I'm worried. Is twerking a drug term? Is it similar to "tripping," "getting high" or "catfishing"?
My 17-year-old is supposed to go to Princeton next year on a sports scholarship, and I'm afraid "twerking" will derail him from his charted path. Thank you for any advice you may have. – Troubled Mom in Connecticut
Dear Mom: Don't panic. "Tripping" and "getting high," as you already know, refer to altered states of consciousness as the result of using drugs. "Catfishing" is something else. It's pretending to be someone you aren't, creating a false identity on social media, usually to pursue a deceptive online romance.
The "twerking" your son was referring to is a dance move recently made famous by Miley Cyrus – in which the dancer (usually female) gyrates in a provocative, semi-squatting position that involves thrusting hip movements.
Dear Abby: My husband and I are not big fans of his best friend's wife. "Aracely" is extremely ill-mannered. She never says thank you, didn't even write thank-you notes for their wedding and baby showers, and when we're at a restaurant will loudly announce that the food was "disgusting."
Aracely claims our baby "cries too much." She arrived at my son's second birthday party with a hangover and so much more. She claims she doesn't observe our "Southern ways" because she comes from South America and has been in the United States for only 8 years.
We keep our interactions with her limited, but do not cut her off completely because my husband values his friendship with her husband. I told my husband I'm considering giving her an etiquette book, but he said it would be rude. I disagree. I think it would nullify Aracely's argument that she doesn't understand our "Southern" manners. Do you agree that it would be rude? – Mannered Southern Gal
Dear Southern Gal: Sorry, but I do agree, because the gift would be given with malicious intent, and I'm pretty sure that while Aracely lacks polish, she isn't stupid.
Her problem isn't that she doesn't understand good manners because she's from South America. I have met individuals from South America who are educated, cultured and whose manners are refined. Obviously, Aracely does not come from this kind of background.
ONLY if you could pull it off without sounding catty, the next time she hauls out the excuse for her deplorable manners, you might "offer" to buy her an etiquette book "so she can learn the ways of her adopted country" – but don't expect her to take you up on it.
Dear Abby: Would it be appropriate to send my future mother-in-law a Mother's Day card? I feel it would be a nice gesture to help start the relationship between us. – Nick in Omaha
Dear Nick: I concur. In fact, I suspect it will melt her heart to know you feel that way about her, even before you marry her daughter.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.