DEAR ABBY: A member of my gym brings her newborn in with her every morning. She sets the carrier down next to her treadmill, puts in her earplugs and runs. The baby usually cries on and off, but today he cried nonstop during my entire 20-minute workout. It drove me crazy.
I'm a mom, too. A crying baby, especially a newborn, is heartbreaking. This woman never stops to see why her little one is crying or to console him. This situation doesn't seem to bother the other gym members. Should I talk to her and risk a hostile response, or speak to the gym manager? -- HEAVY-HEARTED GYM BUNNY IN RIVERVIEW, FLA.
DEAR GYM BUNNY: Talk to the manager. The crying infant may not bother the other gym members, but it bothers you. The woman isn't stopping her workout to see what may be wrong because with her earbuds in she can't hear the child, which doesn't make her a candidate for mother of the year. She's causing a distraction and an inconvenience to you, so speak up.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my high school sweetheart, "Don," for 10 years. I love him dearly. We were very young when we married, and at the time he said he didn't want kids. I didn't give it much thought because back then we weren't ready to start a family. Now, Don still doesn't want kids -- but I do.
He says if children are that important to me, I should leave him and find someone who does want to be a parent. Of course, I don't want just any man's baby. I want his baby.
Don has warned me that if I become pregnant, he'll probably leave. He's planning to have a vasectomy even though I'm against it. I don't know what to do. This is the only problem we have. He won't agree to counseling -- I've already suggested it. I can't picture myself starting over with another man or going my whole life without being a mother. Please help. -- UNFULFILLED IN LOUISVILLE
DEAR UNFULFILLED: Your husband has given you fair warning. Your now have an important choice to make. Because having a child is so important to you, my advice is to start "picturing" yourself with another husband, and do it in enough time that you won't be racing against your biological clock.
DEAR ABBY: My partner has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. As time goes on, I know I will lose him more and more. How do I do this and allow him to keep his dignity? Life comes full circle, and I understand that. I keep trying to dwell in the present and not think too far ahead. I don't know where to turn. How do you start the long goodbye? -- LOST IN PHOENIX
DEAR LOST: The first thing you need to do is contact the Alzheimer's Association. The Alzheimer's Association can guide you on the journey ahead of you and provide a source of emotional support if you join one of its caregiver's groups. The toll-free phone number is (800) 272-3900 and the website is alz.org.
You and your partner should also make certain now that his wishes for end-of-life care are clearly stated in writing, so that when the time comes, they will be respected. Then take each day as it comes, thank God for the good ones, have patience when they are less so, and take good care of yourself because that will be key to ensuring your partner gets the best care possible.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)