Annie's Mailbox: High school senior has trouble with girls

Dear Annie: I am 17, a senior in high school and have never had a girlfriend. It seems like no matter what I do, I never can find a girl to go out with. Any girl I’ve managed to date will only go out with me once, and after that, we are just friends.

I freeze up on dates and have no clue why. I’ve known one girl since I was 3, but for some reason, I couldn’t find a single thing to say to her when we were out. Mind you, I can talk to a girl all day at school, but alone with her, my mind goes blank and she loses interest.

I am tired of this happening every time and don’t want to go through the rest of the year like this. I am often told that I am good-looking and kind, but I always manage to mess things up. How can I overcome this? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

— Never Kissed a Girl

Dear Never Kissed: Your shyness may be severe enough to qualify as a social anxiety disorder. Still, sometimes all it takes is practice. Because you can carry on a conversation at school, some of these girls may mistake your shyness for boredom or disdain. Prepare a couple of things to say. Ask what she thinks about one of your classes. Tell her she looks nice or that you like her earrings. Smile. Consider going out in a group. Also, you’d be surprised to learn that some women think shy guys are adorable, and if you confess that you are nervous, they will do their best to put you at ease.

Dear Annie: Recently, some friends lost a family member. In the obituary, it states that in lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to a selected charity. We honored that wish and made a donation.

Is it acceptable to let our friends know of the donation, either verbally or in a sympathy card? We have made such donations in the past and aren’t sure whether the family was notified by the organization. We aren’t looking for gratitude. We simply want the family to know we are thinking of them. What is proper?

— Unsure

Dear Unsure: The organization will notify the family of your donation (without stating the amount). The family should then send some type of acknowledgement. If you want to be sure your donation was received, it is best to call the organization.

Dear Annie: I have a suggestion for “Life’s a Beach,” who was tired of entertaining her husband’s freeloading relatives every summer, and he refused to tell them not to come.

We recently called friends who live out of state and asked whether it would be OK to visit them for the day. We offered to take them out for lunch, but they refused. After a simple and delicious meal, the lady of the house simply announced, “We will clear the table, and then the kitchen is closed.” My husband and I went sightseeing that afternoon and then treated our friends to dinner.

“Life’s a Beach” has to pull up her socks and stop letting them take advantage of her, even if she has to pack a sack lunch and take Hubby and the kids to the park, leaving the refrigerator nearly bare for the uninvited “guests.” If Hubby doesn’t want to join her, let him figure out what to feed his relatives.

The old saying is true: “Guests and fish go bad after three days.” People can be selfish and thoughtless unless educated by events. “Life” might invest in a sign that says “Kitchen Closed Until Further Notice,” although I’d just handwrite a note and tape it to the bathroom mirror.

— A Grandmother who Loves Company but not Freeloaders in Nebraska

Dear Grandmother: It’s unfortunate that some people can be clueless or inconsiderate when it comes to good manners.

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