DEAR ABBY: My stepson, "George," will be 14 soon. He wants to wear T-shirts with what he considers funny sayings on them. He bought one that reads: "You're just like your girl, easy to score on." His dad and I find it offensive and don't want him to wear it in public. I offered to return it, but George refused and is offended that we don't agree with his choice. He says his friends think it's funny. He argues that it's the shirt giving the message, not him.
George's father and I think the message is sexist and reflects on us if he wears such a shirt.
Should we allow him to do what he wants with the shirt, or should we replace it with one we consider acceptable? -- OFFENDED STEPMOM
DEAR OFFENDED: Your stepson is asserting his independence, which is normal for his age. However, you and his father are the parents, and the decision rests with you.
No need to replace the shirt -- just insist that he put it away until he's an adult and self-sufficient. He may not agree with your decision, but when he matures, he will understand why you made it.
DEAR ABBY: My good friend who is being married soon chose the color of the bridesmaids' dresses and shoes. She even told us to wear our hair in an up-do. I don't mind wearing the dress and shoes she has chosen, or having my hair up -- but now she wants me to color my light brown hair darker. I don't know why she would ask me to do a thing like that. Should I? -- PUZZLED BRIDESMAID IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR BRIDESMAID: The bride has gone overboard in her need to control how everything looks at her wedding. She may want all of her bridesmaids to "blend together" so that she will be the focus of all the attention on her big day. From my perspective, she has gone a little far -- but the decision is yours to make.
DEAR ABBY: I would like to share my mother's method of handling an obscene phone call. She became feeble and hard-of-hearing several years before she died. The telephone was one of her main luxuries and necessities. We live in a rural area, and obscene calls were unusual.
I returned from work one afternoon and went to check on her. With a gleeful voice, she announced, "I got an obscene phone call last night." Shocked, I asked, "Mama, what did you do?" She said it took her a few minutes to realize what the young man was saying. Then she started preaching -- book, chapter and verse.
Mama was a saintly soul with a great working knowledge of the Bible. After several minutes, the man yelled at her, "Hey, lady, you're supposed to shut up and let me do the talking!" She retorted, "No, boy, I have a lot of things to say that you need to hear!"
In a disappointed tone she added, "... and then he hung up on me." To my knowledge, she never received another obscene phone call. -- MISSING MAMA IN LOUISIANA
DEAR MISSING: This is a topic that seems to have taken on a life of its own. I hope your dear mama's preaching put the caller on the right path. At least it made him think again before dialing her number.
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