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DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old high school graduate working full-time as a general manager for a furniture corporation. I live at home with my parents, but I feel like I am ready financially and emotionally to move out into my own place. I'm afraid to tell my parents because we are so close.
My father has always said he won't let me move out unless he approves of the place, and he talks about random checkups of my apartment. If I move out, aren't I entitled to privacy in my own place? I shouldn't have to get my parents' approval or have them checking up on me any time they want. How do I approach them about this without it becoming a screaming match, or ruining the relationship with them?
- Unsettled in Washington
DEAR UNSETTLED: At 19, you are a young adult and no longer a child. You hold a responsible job and, I assume, have enough savings that you can afford what you are contemplating.
That your father wants to protect you is understandable because you are his child. Approach the subject by telling your parents you are "considering" moving out on your own, and would like your father to help you select a place that is safe. Do not be confrontational. If he refuses, you can still go looking on your own.
Once you are in and settled, you can then address the subject of "surprise" visits. Your father is not your parole officer, and it is respectful to call before dropping by.
DEAR ABBY: When did men decide it was "stylish" to wear a two-day growth of beard? I can understand men not shaving on their day off, but to go unshaven and wearing a tux just looks wrong. It is twice as wrong if they have gray in their beard.
Please tell the men of America to shave!
- Style policewoman in Ohio
DEAR STYLE POLICEWOMAN: As I recall, men started going less clean-shaven after the TV series "Miami Vice" became a hit. Five o'clock shadows became the rage, as did going sockless in loafers and wearing a lot of pastels.
On the right person, the look can be sexy - as was demonstrated by hunk-a-licious actors Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, and British singer George Michael. However, I agree that when a man's beard starts turning gray, a clean shave is a better look because after a "certain age" the stubble begins to resemble that of an old derelict rather than a Hollywood sex symbol.
DEAR ABBY: I am the human resources director for a nonprofit organization. I hope you will help me send a message out to anyone searching for a job. Ninety-five percent of all the candidates I interview know little to nothing about the organization for which they are interviewing.
Please let job seekers know that most organizations are less likely to hire an applicant who has done no research on the company he or she is interviewing with. I wouldn't!
- Shaking my head in San Diego
DEAR SHAKING YOUR HEAD: That's good advice. Not only should the applicant know something about the organization or company, the job seeker should be prepared to tell the interviewer why he or she is eager for the job, and how hiring him or her will enhance the business.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.