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Publication: Dear Abby
Lowbrow Gossiping Is Topic Of High Interest

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      DEAR ABBY - April 29, 2008 
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ABBY: I live in a medium-sized community where a lot of 
people know one another. I often hear them discuss such 
private matters as the state of someone's marriage, their 
finances, etc. Even if they don't know if what they're saying 
is true, they still repeat it.

Whenever someone starts talking to me about a person who isn't 
there, I remind her that she wouldn't appreciate having her 
business discussed behind her back. One neighbor even asked 
me about my own marriage in front of a group of people. When 
I politely asked why she would ask about such an intimate 
matter, she became angry and told me I was being rude to her. 
I may have embarrassed her, but not as much as she did me.

I think gossiping is a low form of entertainment at someone 
else's expense. What do you think? 

MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS: Gossip is, indeed, a low form of 
entertainment -- and if we're honest, it's something most of 
us have indulged in at one time or another. Everybody wants 
to know other people's business. One need only look at 
readers with their noses buried in the scandal rags at the 
supermarket checkout counter for verification.

Why we have this compulsion is anybody's guess. Perhaps it's 
because gossip requires little intellectual effort, distracts 
us from concentrating on important tasks in our lives that 
might be painful or difficult to confront, or makes us feel

P.S. You did not embarrass your neighbor by rebuffing her 
inappropriate question. She embarrassed herself by asking.


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ABBY: I am a high school senior, currently going through the 
process of applying to colleges. As I've visited various 
schools, I have realized that college isn't cheap. Many of 
them cost more than $45,000 a year.

My question is, how do I go about paying back my parents for 
college? They can afford to pay for my education and still be 
financially solid, yet I know I will have to repay them. How 
long after I graduate should it be before I begin? 

MATTHEW: Discuss this with your parents. The answer may depend 
on how quickly they will need the money, and what kind of 
payment schedule you can comfortably handle once you have 
graduated and become self-supporting. 

Please consider that you may be eligible for scholarships and 
grants that could lessen your -- and their -- financial 
obligation. Your school guidance counselor can provide you 
with this information. Your public library also has information 
regarding scholarships, so you should consult the librarian.

ABBY: An elderly relative, whom I love dearly, is dying. 
She has always been demure and ladylike, and I am concerned 
that when the time comes for the embalming and viewing, the 
deceased is never buried in underwear or shoes. Is this true? 

DONNA: Put your fears to rest. A person has the right to 
"dictate" what she (or he) wants to be buried in. If the 
deceased has left no instruction, the funeral director 
will take direction from the family.

Watch this one-of-a-kind video of Hollywood's greatest leading ladies!

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

More Self Help from EVTV1.com:
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