DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are thrilled to be expecting our first child in August. A few months ago, a girlfriend, "Marie," and I were discussing names. Marie mentioned that she had always liked the name Brooke. I told her that I'd always liked it, too.
Now that I'm pregnant, my husband and I want to name our baby Brooke if it's a girl. When I told Marie, she became angry. She said the name was her idea because her deceased mother's last name was similar to Brooke -- so she should be able to use the name if she ever has another daughter.
Abby, I'm pregnant NOW. Marie has no idea when she'll be having her next baby -- if ever. We live 3,000 miles apart and have no friends in common, so it's not like there would be any confusion over who's who. Am I being unreasonable? I would appreciate your take on this. -- GOING FOR BROOKE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
DEAR GOING FOR BROOKE: You're not being unreasonable. Your friend is being petty. Since there are no copyrights on names, name your baby whatever you choose -- and don't apologize.
DEAR ABBY: My high school graduation is right around the corner, and I have a problem with it. About eight years ago, my dad had an affair with a woman from his office. I'll call her Rosemary. As a result of that (and other stuff), my mom divorced him and moved out of state. Dad got custody and ended up marrying Rosemary about five years ago.
My problem is, Mom plans to attend my graduation. Given the fact that she despises Rosemary -- and I do, too -- I'm uncertain as to whether I want my stepmom to be there. I think it would create friction, even though Mom says she doesn't care if "that woman" shows up or not.
Personally, I'd like to ask that Rosemary not attend. Please let me know if it's my right to make the final decision for an occasion that's supposed to be "my day." -- MUDDLING THROUGH IN MINNESOTA
DEAR MUDDLING THROUGH: Yes, it is your day. However, since your mother doesn't object, for the sake of family unity your father's current wife should be given the courtesy of an invitation. Please remember that it isn't your responsibility to be a peacemaker. I hope you'll enjoy your special day. Congratulations.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 38-year-old single mother of two. There is a man at work I find attractive, and he's giving me signals that the feeling is mutual. The problem? I've made it a strict policy never to date anyone at work, at church or in my neighborhood because of problems that can occur if there's a breakup.
It's something I've never experienced firsthand, but I've seen it numerous times. When two people split up, there's often tension, hurt feelings and back-stabbing.
As interested as I am in my co-worker, I'm afraid of what could happen to our professional relationship should we become a couple and it doesn't work out. Am I being too cautious? -- TRYING TO BE SMART IN PHILLY
DEAR TRYING TO BE SMART: While it's my opinion that workplace romances (as common as they are) are a bad idea for the reasons you have mentioned, I do think that by not dating men from the neighborhood or church, you are severely limiting yourself. Social opportunities present themselves in the places you present yourself.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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