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Dear Abby: I am 19, and I like a girl who is 16, “Cheri.” My friends and family think we’re dating, and now one of my teachers and the school officer think it is a problem that we are around each other. I asked Cheri’s family if it was OK with them if I asked her out. Knowing how old I am, they approved.

My mom says I can be arrested for statutory rape when all I did was give her a kiss on her cheek. I really like her and she means the world to me. Is there anything I can use to prove that we didn’t do anything wrong?

On A Slippery Slope

in New Hampshire

Dear Slippery: I don’t think anyone is accusing you of having done anything “wrong.” When young men and women are attracted to each other, the relationship rarely stays static. The concern may be that an innocent kiss on the cheek may lead to something more.

That your friend’s parents approve of you seeing their daughter is a plus. However, if you become sexually involved with their daughter, their feelings could easily change. While you might not be in trouble with the law in New Hampshire — which may calm your mother’s fears — the age of consent isn’t the same in every state.

Dear Abby: I was married 13 years ago, and we have a son and a daughter. Sadly, my husband decided he didn’t want to be married anymore and we divorced five years ago. My parents also divorced when I was young, and I did not use my mother’s dress.

I am trying to move on from the divorce and I would like to sell the dress, which has been professionally preserved. My ex remarried, and I’m concerned his new wife may decide to pass on her dress to my daughter. Do mothers still pass down wedding dresses to their daughters?

Former Bride in New York

Dear Former: Not every woman wants to wear her mother’s or grandmother’s wedding dress. Their tastes may be different, and there it could also be that the sizes are different. If selling the dress will help you to move on, then do so.

And, please, don’t waste your time worrying about whether the new wife will steal your thunder by offering your daughter her bridal gown. For the reasons stated above, she might very well refuse it.

Dear Abby: My 30-year-old niece passed away, leaving a 7-year-old daughter. Her husband soon found someone new and the little girl isn’t allowed to tell anyone her mommy died and has to tell all her friends her father’s new girlfriend is her mom. Is it right to keep her from talking about her mommy?

Maria from Texas

Dear Maria: Of course not! She is old enough to always remember not only that her mother died, but also that her father and this woman want to bury the fact that she ever existed. It will cause problems when she is older. Count on it.

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

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