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Skipping out on an education may cost in the future

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I am a junior in high school and will graduate in the first semester of my senior year. Someday, I would like to be a stay-at-home mom. I have no interest in going to college. I feel it would be a waste of money for me to go when I don't intend to use my degree.

To say my parents are disappointed in me over this is putting it mildly. They have a life planned for me that includes college.

I would also like to move away to somewhere where it's warm year-round, and they don't like that idea either.

How do I make them understand that this is MY life and everything will be OK?

Uninterested in Idaho

Dear Uninterested: I'll paraphrase an old proverb: "When man makes plans, God laughs." What it means in your case is that a smart cookie stays FLEXIBLE.

Let's say, for instance, that you get the life you fantasize about: You marry a man who adores you, doesn't mind that you have only a high school degree and is wealthy enough to support you. You have two or three beautiful children together and things are going great.

But what if, heaven forbid, he becomes seriously ill and can't work — or worse, drops dead, leaving you the sole support of those kids?

It has been known to happen. (And then, of course, there's also the possibility of a divorce, which has been known to happen, too.)

Be SMART. Listen to your parents, and arm yourself with the best education you can possibly attain because the reality is, one day you may need to use it.

Dear Abby: The school year has started and many high school girls like me are faced with a similar problem: how to politely decline when a boy asks you to a dance.

Whether it be homecoming, winter formal or prom, some boys go all out and ask girls in elaborate and creative ways. I don't know what to do in these situations if I don't want to go with the boy who is asking me. I feel bad saying "no" because of all the work they put into it, and also, sometimes, there is an audience watching.

Should I just go anyway?

Saratoga Teen

Dear Saratoga Teen: If "many" girls share your problem, it's news to me. Most of the ones I hear from worry that they won't be asked.

If the young man has made a production out of inviting you, say thank you and that you're flattered, but you'll have to think about it and will get back to him later. When you refuse the invitation, it should be done privately, so you won't embarrass the boy.

P.S. That said, keep this in mind — sometimes, a girl ends up having a good time with the person she least expected to.

Contact Dear Abby atDearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.