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Answers to Agony - Solving your personal problems

Aunt Ali

1 February

Dear Aunt Ali,

I don't know what to do.

I ate a little bit too much over Christmas and had a few love handles on my hips. And immediately everyone was laughing at me in the village and none of them would invite me to anything. I've lost the extra few pounds now but they are still calling me horrible names and making sarcastic comments about me.

Its particularly hard because the village is so small and there aren't any other people to make friends with.

Please advise.

Miss Bump

Don't worry, you will get through it.

Clearly the people who are calling you names haven't grown up. They aren't worth worrying about. In fact they are pathetic little sneering hussies.

Remember bullies come in all shapes and sizes. They are not always big bruisers with tattoos - sometimes they are skinny blondes with a wide nose and bad complexion.

Of course their bad complexion may well come from bingeing on ice cream and not eating anything which contains vitamins. Or maybe its because they don't do any exercise other than letting their big mouths wag all day.

One way to make yourself feel better is to read other columns written by young people in this paper and consider how badly written they are. Then compare that against what you can do and take confidence in yourself.

A few extra pounds will be gone by summer and you'll look great in your bikini on the beach. But brains can't be improved by diets and by summer some people won't be any cleverer.

Dear Aunt Ali,

I don't know what to do.

There is a particular boy from the village who has formed a rock band. We were at school together (in the William Jenns) and I was his best friend first.

But since he's got a recording contract with his band and become so successful all the other girls in the village are trying to get his attention and I never have a chance. I'm not the pretty one, so I can't turn his head that way.

Please advise.

Star Struck

Don't worry, you will get through it.

Boys are quite straightforward. So you are right that you cannot rely upon this young man to overlook skin deep matters such as beauty (although I am sure you are far more attractive than you say). You will have to compete with skeletal blonde bimbos using your own tools.

You were his best friend at school and spent many more times with him when he was still thinking about his career and his music. You helped him learn the keyboard and listened to him practice for his auditions. You even helped him carry his equipment to those bookings he had in Casterbridge.

He will remember all those things and will come back to you when things calm down again. After all, he is probably just busy with meeting producers and other people. If, for instance, he had been asked to start the fireworks at new year and had spent the rest of the night surrounded by hangers-on, it is almost certainly because he thought of it as a professional booking and that he had to speak to his future fans. Your relationship with him is quite different.

Best thing, maybe, is to send him private notes to cheer him up between different bookings when he is on the road.

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