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DEAR ABBY: I'm 20 years old and have a job in retail. I have been working here for a few years and am in a higher position than most associates.

I'm in a relationship with my high school sweetheart, whom I truly love, but I am also crazy about my boss. She's beautiful, funny, and to be honest, I jumped at my promotion so I could get closer to her.

I feel terrible because, while I love my girlfriend (she's amazing), if I were given the chance to be with my boss, I'd have a hard time saying no. Thankfully, my boss is in a long-term marriage, so I know in my head I have no chance, but it hurts to go on every day thinking about her. I'd hate myself if I never told her how I feel about her. What should I do? -- REALLY CONFUSED IN RETAIL

DEAR REALLY CONFUSED: Because you are excelling in this retail job, consider asking your beautiful, funny, married boss to write a positive letter of recommendation for you so you can find another job in retail -- one that won't make you ache every time you clock in.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been asked to be in his sister's wedding. We said yes, mostly out of obligation.

There will be three married couples in the procession. I recently learned that my sister-in-law plans to have the couples split up and walk with others. I think it's extremely weird and rude, so much so that we want to back out. Neither of us cares to be in a memory book with us posing with other people. It's not that either of us is jealous; we have been married for 24 years. What do you think? -- FEELING OBLIGATED IN THE EAST

DEAR FEELING OBLIGATED: I think that before you take offense and back out, you should ask your sister-in-law why she wants to do this. It could be something as simple as variations in the height of the participants and not weird or rude. Between you and me, unless you and your husband feel so strongly about this that you are willing to create a rift in the family, you should go along with his sister's fantasy of her perfect day.

DEAR ABBY: I can't do anything for my 70-something-year-old mom without her thanking me so much it makes me uncomfortable. A recent example: She moved to a new apartment, and I bought her some gift certificates as a housewarming gift. She thanked me profusely via email when she received them. She thanked me again over the phone when I next spoke with her. She's thanked me at least half a dozen more times -- each time she uses one of them.

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When my sister and I paid for a trip for her, she bought us expensive gifts as thank-yous. The gifts cost far more than she could afford (and unfortunately, in my case, was something I'd never use), which kind of negated the idea of us paying for the trip.

I know Mom means well. Should I say or do anything, or just let it be? -- THANKS-FULL SON IN SEATTLE

DEAR SON: If you say something, you risk embarrassing your mother or, worse, hurting her feelings. I vote for just letting it be.

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