DEAR AMY: My girlfriend and I are loyal fans of yours, just as some people are loyal to their sporting teams.
As your No. 1 fans, we use many of your articles in our daily discussions. This has helped us to get to know each other and ourselves better. We notice that many of your writers ask for advice without the knowledge of their partner, but we are sitting here together to request your advice.
My girlfriend and I met through a dating site and have been blissfully dating for six months.
We are in our early 30s and very much in love. We respect each other and have a great deal of fun together.
We are in a committed relationship and have discussed marriage in its early stages.
However, we are in complete opposition regarding a wedding celebration. I want an elaborate hall wedding, and she wants to save money and have a more intimate buffet wedding in her sister's backyard.
She wants a clown, magician and inflatable bouncing machine for children at the celebration, but I think it's more for her own enjoyment.
Can you suggest a compromise?
— The "Odd" Couple
DEAR "ODD": Normally, I edit out the excessive flattery (and the worst of the insults).
You are the first readers to compare yourselves to sports fans, however.
In your honor, I've decided to invent a new sport: column hockey.
My solution to your wedding dilemma is to suggest that you both scale down your plans — but have two celebrations instead of one.
Your girlfriend's idea sounds like a lot of fun for an engagement party or rehearsal dinner but not for a wedding.
Bouncy castles, beer and bridesmaids do not mix.
You could dial down your own concept and still have a lovely, elegant and memorable affair that also conveys your girlfriend's sense of fun — but doesn't cost a year's wages or involve a clown.
When I married my own Mr. Fancy Pants last year, I wanted to serve barbecue chicken and corn on the cob at the reception dinner.
We compromised by doing everything his way.
(Not that I'm bitter.)
When it comes to marriage, sometimes the best compromise is to recognize that the other person might actually have the better idea.
DEAR AMY: I am a 16-year-old with no college savings and plan to attend a prestigious university.
I am looking for a job so I can save for college, which will cost me about $40,000, and buy a car.
I have applied at several places and have had no luck. I don't know what else to do.
I have a pretty impressive resume for a high school student, and I have many special skills, such as music, painting, drawing, computer, sewing, child care, etc.
What can I do?
DEAR DESPERATE: Where I live, kids your age push lawn mowers up and down the sidewalk, looking for lawns to cut for cash.
You could also solicit baby-sitting or "mother's helper" jobs for the summer. Offer to do odd jobs or errands.
More important, you should consider enrolling at your local community college. Community colleges offer the best higher education bargain there is while giving motivated students a good education, which most colleges appreciate when it comes time to transfer.
DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the letter from "Vacation Souvenir," the friend who was upset that her buddy didn't bring her a souvenir from her trip.
I am not a shopper, but I have spent endless hours on a trip hunting through junky souvenir shops to take something back for friends.
I resent the fact that any of my traveling time needs to be spent shopping.
I wish my friends wouldn't give me vacation stuff, if that's what they expect from me.
DEAR LINDA: I think I stopped this practice right after the time a snow globe from Santa Barbara broke open in my suitcase.
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