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by Abigail Van Buren

Five Heart Attacks Fail to Change Man's Habits

DEAR ABBY: I am a responsible adult, age 28. I have a college degree and a good job. I pay my bills on time and own my own home. My situation is I had a child when I was a teenager.

Often when people find out that I am his mother, they'll make a comment such as, "Oh, you're too young to have a 12-year-old child." That statement is absolutely correct. However, I don't feel I should have to go into detail about how old I was when my son was born.

Can you please provide me with a response that will not be rude but will end the conversation? While I understand where the generalizations about teenage mothers come from, they do not apply in all situations. -- YOUNG MOTHER IN CHESAPEAKE BAY, VA.

DEAR YOUNG MOTHER: Just smile at the person, say, "Thank you for the compliment," and change the subject. You are under no obligation to reveal any further details.