DEAR ABBY: My 20-year-old daughter, "Justine," has gotten pregnant. She is not married and lives with her boyfriend, his mother and brother. I did not raise her this way.
My problem is she asked me how many baby showers I plan to give her. I told her none. She asked me why. I told her it is not appropriate to give a baby shower "under the circumstances." The few choice words she had for me were so bad I hung up on her.
Abby, her boyfriend doesn't work, and half the time neither does Justine. I was so angry I forgot to tell her that her father and I would make sure she and her baby had what they needed. Should I try to make amends and give her a baby shower? -- GRANDMA-TO-BE IN ALABAMA
DEAR GRANDMA-TO-BE: First, it is improper for a mother to give a shower for her married or unmarried daughter. It should be hosted by a friend, an aunt or a cousin.
Second, whether you approve or not, the baby is a fact of life. So accept it, and try to be a little less judgmental. Your daughter and grandchild will need your support emotionally, and probably financially.
Third, your husband should have a heart-to-heart talk with the young man. He must be told what is expected of him as a man, breadwinner and father-to-be because it appears he hasn't a clue.
DEAR ABBY: I hold strong beliefs about historic preservation and zero population growth. You could call me an activist. I am generally against any sort of land development. However, I recognize and respect that others -- including my longtime boyfriend, "Brian" -- do not share my beliefs.
We recently attended a small dinner party. A young couple we had just met were enthusiastically discussing their purchase of an undeveloped plot of land in one of our city's oldest neighborhoods. They are planning to build a new home.
I smiled and said nothing. Brian, however, volunteered the fact that I believe it's unethical to develop virgin land, and that people who have the means to do it should restore old homes instead.
While I tried to demur, everyone at the table insisted I explain myself. I was mad at my boyfriend, and later told him he was rude to the couple for putting a damper on their happiness -- and to me, for forcing me to assume an adversarial position with people I barely knew. Brian says we're all mature adults and we should be able to have an engaging discussion about such topics without hurt feelings or anger. What do you say, Abby? Sign me ... TOO SENSITIVE(?)
DEAR (NOT) TOO SENSITIVE: Your boyfriend may have been bored and wanted some more lively conversation, but it's no excuse for putting you on the spot. Had you wanted to air your beliefs, you would have done so. He had no right to speak for you.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I are considering living on a sailboat together. He is my true love. We're not yet married, but perhaps we will be in the near future. We get along really great, but I am not confident that living together would be a good idea. Our parents would hate us. What should I do? -- MOTION IN THE OCEAN
DEAR MOTION: Listen to your intuition. Keep your feet firmly planted on dry ground, or else you could find yourself not only in over your head, but up a creek without a paddle.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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