DEAR ABBY: Our son "Sean" is 20 and has been going with a girl 2 1/2 years older than he is. I'll call her "Taryn." When we first met Taryn we liked her very much. She was chubby, and Sean told us she was on a diet. We found out later Taryn was 5 1/2 months pregnant.
As time went on, she grew larger and larger. We asked Sean if she could be pregnant. He told us he had asked her and she said no, that she was just built like her mother. (She told her co-workers the same thing.)
Late one night, our surprised and upset son called to tell us Taryn had just delivered a full-term, 7-pound baby boy. Her doctor and her friends have all said she didn't know what was going on. Even after the baby was born, she asked the doctor "what was happening." She couldn't believe she'd had a baby. Taryn told Sean she had had her period the whole nine months and never felt the baby move.
The doctor told my son that some girls don't know when they are pregnant, so now he believes her! We have had many family discussions about this. I am the mother of six children, and I always knew when I was pregnant.
Is it possible that she didn't know she was pregnant, even though she had been asked directly more than once? We feel Taryn has been lying to Sean the whole time. We haven't seen her since the birth. She's living with and being supported by her parents. Sean loves Taryn and the baby and plans to marry her and adopt the boy. Please help us. -- FLABBERGASTED PARENTS IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR PARENTS: Although it is highly unusual, it is not unheard of for a woman to conceive and carry a baby to term without knowing she's pregnant. It does stretch the imagination -- among other things -- for her to deliver the baby and still ask what's going on. Because her doctor says this was the case with Taryn, who are we to say otherwise?
Please remember, your son is in love with this young woman. He plans to marry her. So your wisest course of action would be to accept Taryn and the baby and make the best of this uncomfortable situation. To do otherwise will estrange your son from you. Also, it's clear your daughter-in-law-to-be needs the mentoring of as many mature women in her life as possible.
DEAR ABBY: In the past few years several of my friends moved out of state. Before they left, they gave me items they couldn't take along. They said I could keep the stuff or have a yard sale.
Now these friends have returned and are asking for their things back. I feel like I was used as a temporary storage facility. This has happened to me three different times.
I have been using the items as mine, feeling they belonged to me. I think I'm being used. How should I respond to these people? -- RESENTFUL IN SUNNY CALIFORNIA
DEAR RESENTFUL: Because these people gave you the items to do with as you wished -- to keep or to sell -- they belong to you. How you respond to their request depends upon how much you value their friendship, because your refusal to return them could become a bone of contention.
In the future when someone asks to leave furniture with you, make sure to have the terms put clearly in writing. Because this has happened to you three different times, there appears to have been a serious breakdown in communication somewhere along the line.
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 $6 (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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