Amy 5-21

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“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
May 21, 2013
 
DEAR AMY: I am really scared for my younger sister. My mom has let her start tanning in tanning beds.

Because we have a history of skin cancer deaths in our family, I can't figure out why my mom would let my sister do this.

My sister is now addicted; she's been to the salon at least 40 times this year, and she's only a freshman in high school!

She says she plans on tanning this much for the rest of her life. She says she can't use spray tan because she has very mild eczema on her ankles, so it would look blotchy.

Is there anything I can do to stop this? I know my mom is hurting her and lacks good judgment, but what she's doing isn't illegal, so I don't know where to turn. I read that someone dies from skin cancer every minute in the United States, and I'm afraid at this rate one of them will be my sister.-- A Concerned Sister

DEAR SISTER: I have read truly alarming studies showing both the prevalence of "indoor tanning" and the very real dangers of using tanning beds, especially for teens and for those with a family history of skin cancer.

There is also evidence that tanning may be addictive for some people. Theories about the reasons for this include underlying issues such as depression and a distorted body image.

The implication here is that your mother is not only an enabler (allowing your sister to hurt herself) but also possibly a pusher (providing funds, rides to the salon and encouraging this dangerous habit).

Introduce your mother and your sister to the stories and studies quoted on the Skin Cancer Foundation's informative website: skincancer.org (search word "teen"). Several states have restricted or outright banned the use of tanning salons for teens. Research the laws in your state, and if you find this salon is violating state laws, contact your state's attorney general's office and Better Business Bureau.

DEAR AMY: My parents never married, but my dad was a beloved part of my life until I was about 11. Then he moved across the country.

He barely spoke with me at all during my teen years, and we lost touch in my 20s. I felt abandoned; it still hurts. A couple of years ago I contacted him, hoping for a real relationship and an apology.

I got neither; he said he "just wasn't dad material." His longtime girlfriend, however, is interested in fostering a relationship between me and my dad. He never calls me, but she does. If I call their home, she answers, and he's never available.

She's sweet, but her efforts have become yet another reminder of how much he doesn't care. I have little interest in maintaining a relationship with her alone; it just hurts too much. I'd rather go back to little or no contact, but I don't want to hurt her. How should I handle this?-- Confused Daughter

DEAR DAUGHTER: Your father's deficiency has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him.

You are not likely to receive an apology from him, so stop seeking it. Work through your own sadness with a goal to accept this reality and move on from it.

Families come in all shapes and through many different relationships. Your father's partner might be an ideal family member for you, as long as you stop viewing her as a way to connect with and get what you want from your dad.

It sounds as if she is seeking a daughter relationship with you. If you no longer want to be in touch, you are going to have to honestly let her know. When you communicate with her, thank her for her efforts and her kindness.

DEAR AMY: The letter from "A Worried Friend" described how a gay friend's "coming out" was met with denial and abuse from his mother. You suggested the gay man should continue to try to have a relationship. Really? Why?-- Upset

DEAR UPSET: The father in this scenario had come around; I suggested that the son should try one more time with his mother and then accept the reality of her limitations. No one should tolerate abuse.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#2
May 21, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1 paper the walls with literature about skin cancer. Actually I think the FDA or somebody has recommended they be banned completely.

2 Your dad sucks, and eventually he will realize that and he will die with a broken heart. You have to move on and be tougher than he is selfish.

3 No you didn't, you did not suggest one last attempt. Jeesh, you sound like sam or emutt.

Since: Jan 10

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#3
May 21, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1

L1: Your mother is either being vain by proxy or completely ignorant about the dangers of tanning booths (especially with a history of skin cancer in your family). Where's your dad?

But don't worry: In 20-25 years, you're going to look younger than your sister.

L2: Looks like your dad found a woman who's better than he deserves. Sorry that your dad's girlfriend makes more of an effort than he does. I'd tell her that, tell her how he abandoned you, so maybe she'll dump his pathetic ash as you do the same.

L3: Why? BECAUSE SHE'S HIS MOTHER. My god. I mean, yes, he should stop trying to pressure her when it comes to accepting his being gay (she'll likely come around in time), but I can't fault the guy for wanting his mom to want to be spend time with him.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#4
May 21, 2013
 
LW1: SHow her pictures of that freako tan lady that was in the news awhile back and let her know that's where she is heading.

No such thing as a healthy tan!

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#5
May 21, 2013
 
L1: I have a different take on this. 40 times a year is less than once a week, that doesn't sound excessive or like an addictive behavior at all. And tanning in a bed is more controlled than laying out in the sun; the bed shuts off after X minutes, whereas if you fall asleep on the beach, you fry. I go tanning to maintain a base so that when I *am* in the sun, I don't burn.

“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#6
May 21, 2013
 
1- How many skin cancer deaths have there been in your family? Skin cancer is one of the most treatable cancer there is. But your mom is an idiot. And don't most places have rules about how often you can visit?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#7
May 21, 2013
 
Rent There's Something About Mary. Get an unphoto-shopped picture of George Hamilton.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

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#8
May 21, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
1- How many skin cancer deaths have there been in your family? Skin cancer is one of the most treatable cancer there is. But your mom is an idiot. And don't most places have rules about how often you can visit?
Just an FYI: there are two basic types of skin cancer. Basal cell is easily treatable IF it's detected and taken care of right away, which mine was. It will rot out the area if not. I know someone who wouldn't go the the dr. and had his whole ear replaced with a prosthetic. The other melanoma kind is deadly in that it spreads throughout the body. There may be other types but these two are the ones I know about.
Even the tanning booths are under attack as being risky.
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

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#9
May 21, 2013
 
dahgts wrote:
<quoted text>
Just an FYI: there are two basic types of skin cancer. Basal cell is easily treatable IF it's detected and taken care of right away, which mine was. It will rot out the area if not. I know someone who wouldn't go the the dr. and had his whole ear replaced with a prosthetic. The other melanoma kind is deadly in that it spreads throughout the body. There may be other types but these two are the ones I know about.
Even the tanning booths are under attack as being risky.
My uncle died from melanoma.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#10
May 21, 2013
 
LW1: I would think that anyone with half a brain would be horrified when they realize that if they keep tanning they will look like Tan Mom. And compound that with skin cancer in the family <shakes head>, this girl is just asking to be very unattractive in a few years.

I'd put a picture of Tan Mom on the mirror.

LW2: I like how RACE said it: "Your dad sucks, and eventually he will realize that and he will die with a broken heart. You have to move on and be tougher than he is selfish."

LW3: What Red said.

“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#11
May 21, 2013
 
j_m_w wrote:
L1: I have a different take on this. 40 times a year is less than once a week, that doesn't sound excessive or like an addictive behavior at all. And tanning in a bed is more controlled than laying out in the sun; the bed shuts off after X minutes, whereas if you fall asleep on the beach, you fry. I go tanning to maintain a base so that when I *am* in the sun, I don't burn.
40 times THIS year already

Since: Jan 10

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#12
May 21, 2013
 
Melanoma is not very treatable. It's one of the bad cancers to get, in that you likely will be dead within five years.

“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#13
May 21, 2013
 
squishymama wrote:
LW1: I would think that anyone with half a brain would be horrified when they realize that if they keep tanning they will look like Tan Mom. And compound that with skin cancer in the family <shakes head>, this girl is just asking to be very unattractive in a few years.
Think the average 14 yr old girl has half a brain?
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

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#14
May 21, 2013
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Melanoma is not very treatable. It's one of the bad cancers to get, in that you likely will be dead within five years.
Bob Marley died from melanoma. If you don't catch it early, it is very deadly.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#15
May 21, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Think the average 14 yr old girl has half a brain?
Probably not, but they sure do care what they look like and know that they'll be judged on those looks as they get older. I bet I could ask any 14 year old do they want to grow up to look like Tan Mom and they would say NO!

And I don't recall the LW mentioning the age of her sister.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

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#16
May 21, 2013
 
Oh, there it is. Freshman in high school.

Since: Jan 10

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#17
May 21, 2013
 
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
Bob Marley died from melanoma. If you don't catch it early, it is very deadly.
I remembered that he died from brain cancer or a brain tumor, so I looked it up, and you were right! Melanoma spread to his lungs and brain. Scary, scary stuff.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#18
May 21, 2013
 
L1: Stupid people. At this this LW has some sense.

L2: You don't have a dad, you have a sperm donor. I feel for this LW, but be glad you have met some very good people (including his girlfriend) in your life. Write him off. See a therapist but it probalby is difficult to give up wanting to have a dad.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#19
May 21, 2013
 
LW1 - i don't have a history of skin (or really any) cancer in my family - all teh relatives who have had it married in... but, my gramma had a leison presumed to be skin cancer in the last year of her life that she says she got from picking vegetables on teh farm as a kid. i have a friend who was never one for laying out, yet she had a skin cancer removed from her cheek. she was irritated; her sister who did lay out and/or go tanning didn't have any issues.

if the cancer issue isn't big enough, the fact that tanning ages your skin should..,.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#20
May 21, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
1- How many skin cancer deaths have there been in your family? Skin cancer is one of the most treatable cancer there is. But your mom is an idiot. And don't most places have rules about how often you can visit?
even if they did, what's to stop tehm (or any tanning "addict") from shop-hopping and/or getting a tanning bed for home use? Where there's a will, there's a way.

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