DEAR ABBY: "Karl" and I met a few days after he had broken up with his girlfriend, "Liza." My brother introduced us. I was leery at first. I had heard Liza was pregnant with Karl's child, but he told me it was over between them. I guess Karl said all the right things because we immediately hooked up and our relationship got serious fast.
A week later, Liza called Karl to "discuss the baby." At that point, Karl and I were living together. He went to see her and didn't return until morning. Liza called me in the middle of the night, announced that she and Karl were back together, and told me that I had to move out. Since there wasn't time to find a new apartment, I moved into the guest room.
Surprisingly, we have all been getting along really well, but there is something that I haven't told them -- I am also pregnant with Karl's child.
I really don't know what to do. Karl has two kids on the way and they are less than a month apart. Please help. -- A HOPELESS PREGNANT WOMAN
DEAR HOPELESS: The first thing you must do is consult a lawyer and discuss establishing paternity and child support for your child. Although the three of you are getting along now, there is no guarantee that it will continue when there are five of you. Bear in mind that Liza, not Karl, was the person who told you to move out. It's unlikely that Karl is ever going to give you an exclusive commitment.
DEAR ABBY: For the past five years, I have been concentrating on school in an effort to support my 5-year-old son who lives with his mother. We never married; I am gay. I see my son a couple of times a month.
I recently quit my job because it was too much to handle with school. I want to spend quality time with my son -- something I never had with my own father -- but I don't have much money and I don't remember what 5-year-old boys like to do.
This is my last chance to be a good father. Abby, can you think of some activities my son would enjoy? -- WANTS TO BE A GOOD DAD, RALEIGH, N.C.
DEAR DAD: I applaud you for wanting to participate in your son's life. The child will enjoy just spending time with you and knowing you. Listen to what he has to say and take an interest in the things he likes.
Some excursions the two of you could enjoy together might include an age-appropriate movie, a sporting event, a trip to the zoo, going to get an ice cream cone, camping out and/or hiking, or a visit to a park playground. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive. A picnic and game of catch are fun.
Reading to your son is another activity that he would like. Go to the library and ask the librarian to recommend books you and your son can enjoy together.
Readers: Any other ideas?
DEAR ABBY: Last week I went to a store to buy a greeting card. When I went to pay at the checkout stand, I saw the most beautiful girl smiling at me. When I handed her my money, I asked her name. She told me, but I was so nervous I didn't give her my name.
How can I get this fantastic stranger interested in me? -- CHECKING OUT THE CHECKOUT GIRL
DEAR CHECKING OUT: Go back to the store. Buy another card or two. If she's wearing a name tag, call her by name and introduce yourself. (Fortunately for you, the holiday season is fast approaching, and you can buy LOTS of cards ... one card at a time!)
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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