DEAR ABBY: My father-in-law is loud and opinionated, but his latest statement takes the cake. I am due to give birth to a baby on his birthday in September. He has made a pronouncement to the entire family that he will be very upset if I have the baby on his birthday, as he doesn't want to share that day. This is no joke.
The rest of the family hopes I have the baby on this date just to spite him. I wish I were a million miles away. Frankly, at eight months pregnant in the Texas heat, I don't have much of a sense of humor left. I would like the birth of my baby to be a time of joy, not the punchline of some sort of adolescent-level joke. -- HOT AND TIRED IN TEXAS
DEAR HOT AND TIRED: Your father-in-law is talking as though the Texas heat has addled his brain. He should regard the arrival of his grandchild as the ultimate birthday gift -- not competition. Shame on him. You may have to listen to the braying of a jackass, but you don't have to validate it.
DEAR ABBY: The man who lamented the snickers and insults he endured from strangers who interpreted his holding his mentally disabled son's hand as a sign of "homosexual bonding" has experienced the discrimination and contempt that gays and lesbians experience every day.
He should be concerned less with freeing these snickerers of their "mistaken notions" and more with promoting the idea that our violent and intolerant society should learn to accept any mutually affectionate gesture of hand-holding, no matter between whom. -- DON IN PORTLAND, ORE.
DEAR DON: I agree with you. But lighten up. Right now the man is too engrossed in his own pain to appreciate the bigger picture.
DEAR ABBY: A local ratio station sponsored a contest where listeners submitted poems about their hometowns. I thought you might like to have a copy of mine. -- LORI J. BENNETT, FORT WORTH, TEXAS
DEAR LORI: You thought right. I like your poem, not to mention your sense of humor. Read on:
For years I've proclaimed with bravado
To friends and colleagues alike,
That my hometown was in Colorado,
The state with the peak named Pike.
I've boasted of snow and the ski slopes
And of crisp, clear skies of blue.
But my bragging was nothing but false hopes
And so I'm confessing to you:
In truth, it wasn't the Rockies I saw
On the day I was born.
It wasn't a landscape, rugged and raw,
It was only a field of corn.
The purpose of this little ditty
Is so all of the world will see,
I was really born in Sioux City,
Home of Abby, Ann Landers and me!
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby's "Keepers," P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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