DEAR ABBY: Five weeks ago, our son and his wife welcomed a baby boy. They asked a close friend to videotape the birth and presented a copy to us and the other grandparents.
The proud parents asked us to wait and view it with them at an appointed time. All along, my husband said he was not interested and would not stay home to watch it. I thought he would relent, but sure enough, he went to a local softball game, leaving me to explain.
My son took it in stride. However, his wife is angry and hurt. I tried to explain that men in my husband's generation were not allowed to be involved in childbirth, which accounts for much of his attitude. My husband has often said, "I was there when my children were conceived -- that's all that counts!" After 35 years of marriage, he is not about to change his opinion.
My daughter-in-law says my husband is rude and thoughtless. My husband refuses to apologize and thinks SHE is acting foolish. Your thoughts, please? -- NEW GRANDMA CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR NEW GRANDMA: While the birth of her first child was a watershed experience in your daughter-in-law's life, it does not give her the right to insist your husband do anything that makes him uncomfortable. If he doesn't want to see her in that position, that's his right. It may be just a little too much "reality TV" for his taste.
DEAR ABBY: I am 12 years old and want to be a model, an actress and a singer.
My mother is a housekeeper. My father is a supervisor in a factory. My aunts and uncles have similar jobs. Well, I don't want to do that. I want to be the next Daisy Fuentes or Cindy Crawford. I want people to know who I am. I don't want to be a "no one" -- I want to be a "someone."
My mother says not to get my hopes up because not too many people get famous. I say I don't care -- I want to risk it. My parents think I might get hurt, but I know I am tough and can handle it.
Abby, what do you think? Should I just forget about my dreams or "go for it"? -- WANTING TO BE A STAR IN ELGIN, ILL.
DEAR WANTING: Don't abandon your dreams. If you don't have dreams, how can they come true?
Take classes in drama, dancing and singing. If they are not offered at your school, ask your parents how you can earn extra money so you can take classes on Saturday. Don't neglect your schoolwork. You'll get even further if you have both brains and talent. There's no doubt in my mind you have the drive and determination to succeed. Good luck!
DEAR ABBY: I am one of your male readers. I'll make this short and sweet. Must I tell my fiancee I was in a mental hospital when I was 19? -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: If you think it might make a difference to your fiancee, better to find out before the wedding. While it's not the kind of information you're obligated to disclose to an employer, the person you contemplate sharing your life with has a right to know. It would be better coming from you than from some relative who lets it slip somewhere down the line.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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