DEAR ABBY: I have an embarrassing dilemma. I have a baby with a man I am no longer with. Our romance ended before I knew I was pregnant. He is not in our lives anymore -- his decision. I have moved on and am now in a solid, loving relationship.
My problem is my OB/GYN has always been under the impression that my child's biological father and I are together and that we're married. The father attended some of the obstetrical appointments with me and was even there for the birth.
When my doctor initially referred to him as "my husband," I didn't correct him because I didn't feel I needed to spill the beans about such a personal issue. But now when I go for my annual examinations, he always asks me how "my husband" is. I feel it's too late to say, "Oh, by the way, he was never my husband" since I didn't correct him to begin with.
I need a graceful way to finally tell my doctor that we were never married, especially since I am now involved with a different man whom I plan on marrying and will eventually have another child with. Please help me find the words. -- STUCK -- DOWN SOUTH
DEAR STUCK: Here are the words. The next time your doctor asks how your "husband" is, say: "We're no longer together." Period. No further explanation is necessary, and don't offer one.
DEAR ABBY: We are hoping you can settle a small dispute. My husband and I have a soon-to-be 2-year-old. Her birthday is next month, and we will be celebrating at a local park with lots of kids from work and day care.
Is it OK to offer beer and wine to the parents? The park officials have no issue with it. There is an alcohol permit to sign, which includes no hard liquor and no drinks to be taken off premises. We will abide by park rules. We just want to know -- is it OK to have alcohol at a child's birthday party? We will wait to see what you have to say. -- PARTY PLANNER IN COLORADO
DEAR PARTY PLANNER: I see nothing positive to be gained by a group of parents drinking alcohol at a children's party. Alcohol dulls the senses, and besides, the purpose of the party is to see that the children have a good time. Rather than drinking and socializing, the parents should be concentrating on the kids, making sure they are entertained and closely supervised -- particularly in an outdoor setting that may not be familiar to everyone.
DEAR ABBY: Is it now acceptable to clip one's fingernails in the workplace?
I work in an office with cubicles, and I hear some of my co-workers (mainly men) clipping their nails! Isn't this a task that should be performed in one's bathroom at home? Am I the only person who thinks this is gross? -- GROSSED OUT IN RICHMOND, TEXAS
DEAR GROSSED OUT: You are not the only person who finds it gross; I think it's "icky," too. And you are correct that personal grooming should be performed at home, before or after work. Because it bothers you, mention it to the office manager, explain how it makes you feel, and suggest that a company memo be sent out discouraging the practice.
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