DEAR AMY: A few months ago, I lost two very close relatives.
After their deaths, which were only about a week apart, I felt depressed for weeks.
I understood this was part of the natural grieving process and tried to deal with it myself. I didn't think it was that important.
It has been more than four months and I still don't feel like I used to.
Recently, I have been extremely emotional.
I feel like crying for no reason, and I go off at the drop of a hat.
My parents have noticed my bouts of rage, and they believe it's teenage angst.
I believe I started to feel like this even before their deaths.
I don't know how to tell my parents because I don't want them to feel like they don't provide enough for me or that I'm ungrateful.
They give me everything I want. I'm sure if I asked them to give me the shirts off their backs, they would.
I don't want to go to my school counselor because they call you down while you're in class, and I don't want everyone to know that I need help.
What should I do?
— Troubled Teen
DEAR TROUBLED: You should start by remembering how much your parents love you.
You sound like such a good kid; please let them try to help you. They deserve the chance to try, because right now, helping you is their version of giving you the shirt off their backs.
Tell them, "I think I'm depressed. I feel terrible, and I can't shake it off. I need help." (The "I need help" part is important.)
Explain your concerns about the school counselor (and I agree with you that pulling a kid out of class is not a sensitive approach); your folks can make an appointment and get a referral for someone for you to talk to.
DEAR AMY: I am still upset over the Thanksgiving dinner I hosted last year.
I invited a friend and her daughter. The day after, my friend called, not to thank me, but to lambaste me for not giving her a complement of leftovers to take home!
She said it was expected that a hostess should send her guests home with leftovers.
My feeling is that I paid for the food; I shopped for it, lugged it home, chopped, sauteed, browned and baked. I cleaned the house, vacuumed, set the table, washed dishes, etc., and one of the perks of having hosted the dinner is that my own family gets to enjoy the leftovers the next day!
Last year's Thanksgiving meal went well, and there were almost no leftovers.
My friend is still ticked off.
I love the idea of opening up my home for Thanksgiving dinner, but at the same time, if it means giving up some of the components of my favorite meal of the year — the turkey leftovers — I am hesitant to even have guests.
DEAR SHERRON: The spirit behind Thanksgiving is one of bounty and generosity, but I'm not aware that the first Thanksgiving celebrants left the feast with containers full of leftovers.
Guests to Thanksgiving meals have a duty not just to show up and consume the food offered but to also participate in the feast by being good, grateful and generous guests. Your friend is not meeting even the most basic standard.
Furthermore, much as I wish it were so, I've never heard the rule about sending guests home with turkey. Leftovers are the hosts' reward for their hard work.
DEAR AMY: "Stuck" wrote to you that she wants to live with her best girlfriend, but now her boyfriend wants to move in too.
Her girlfriend would certainly regret living with them.
I lived with a couple for six months before I'd had enough of it and had to get out.
Being the third wheel is especially bad when (not if) the couple is fighting or things are tense in their relationship, as you end up hearing two sides of a story and things just get bad.
DEAR ARLEN: I agree that in most circumstances, it is extremely challenging for a single person to live with a couple.