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The gene pool: my family is going to the beach with some other relatives. My aunt and uncle yell a ton, and my cousins get into first fights. Help!

Yikes! Not exactly the relaxing beach retreat you had in mind, huh? Well before the date you're planning to hit the road, let your parents know your relatives' fighting bothers you. Maybe they can talk to your aunt and uncle about it before everyone packs the beach umbrellas. If a ceasefire does not present itself, steer clear of any fights--physical or verbal. It might be tempting to try to jump in and solve their problems, but it's not your job to tell your relatives how to behave. At the first sign of trouble, grab your iPod or Discman (a must for this trip!) for a soothing stroll on the beach.

I used to be fat. Now that I'm not, everybody says I have a great body and should show it off in short shorts. But I have stretch marks on my thighs, and I don't want people to see them. What should I do?

In real life, even models have stretch marks (fashion photos are doctored up). In fact, women with stretch marks outnumber (by far!) those who don't have any. So, why be embarrassed about something totally normal? Instead of focusing on what you don't like, remind yourself of what you do like. Be proud you are healthy and fit, and appreciate the compliments about your hot bed. Then, show it off (tastefully, of course; don't channel Paris Hilton!). If you are confident, what people will notice most about you is the way you carry yourself.

I want to buy some expensive sunglasses I really like. My mom won't let me because she's afraid I'll lose or break them. But I'll be careful, and I'm using my own money. What's the deal?

As a girl who has lost, stepped on and run over several pairs of sunglasses, I get where your morn is coming from. At the same time, it's satisfying to save up your money and splurge on something you must have. Tell your mom you get her concerns but that if something happens to the sunglasses, it's your investment, your risk. Explain that, while you want to be responsible with your hard-earned money, you'd also like to spend a little on something you love. If your position doesn't fly, search for a less expensive version of the shades.

My friend makes up an excuse to get off the phone five minutes into every convo. I just got back from the lake, and she called. We talked three minutes when she was like, "Gotta go. Hope you had fun at the lake." This really annoys me, and I don't know what to do about it.

Since your friend calls you, it seems she's genuinely interested in your friendship. Maybe she's just not a "phone person." Some people prefer in-person or online conversations. Or, it could be her parents limit her phone time or that she's super busy. It probably has nothing to do with you, so don't take it personally. Maybe your friend would love to hear all the details of your lake trip in a face-to-face chat. If she continues to cut you off mid-conversation, let her know it hurts your feelings when it seems like she doesn't want to listen. Just make sure you're not doing all the talking and that you're all ears when she wants to dish!

Got a question for Lucky? Send it to Ask Lucky, c/o Girls' Life, 4517 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214, or e-mail it to
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Title Annotation:ASK LUCKY; questions and answers
Author:Sandler, Laura
Publication:Girls' Life
Article Type:Column
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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