Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I was taken away from my parents at 13 and placed into foster care, where I stayed until I aged out at 21. My biological mother is a drug addict who abandoned me to my father when I was 11. She never tried to contact me while I was in care.

I am now 24 and she won't leave me alone. She sends Facebook messages that alternate between begging me to let her get to know me, and condemning me for being vindictive and not having forgiveness in my heart. Abby, this woman exposed me to drugs and all manner of seedy people and situations. I was molested and beaten by some of the men she picked up to pay the bills.

Am I a horrible person for ignoring her? I'm close to losing my temper and letting her know exactly how angry I am, but I know it would do no good. I just want to move on with my life and advance in my profession without having to worry about this. What do you think? -- STALKED IN NEW YORK

DEAR STALKED: Silence sends a strong message. I think that when the harassment started, you should have immediately blocked this woman on Facebook. It's not too late to do that now. If she continues to annoy you, consider getting a restraining order.

Because you are on a path to success, allow nothing to divert you.

Read more in: Addiction | Family & Parenting | Health & Safety | Mental Health | Abuse

Many Hands Touch Clothes Before They're Sold

DEAR ABBY: On March 14 you printed a question from "Jim in New Jersey" who asked if brand-new clothing should be washed before wearing. Having worked in a shirt factory for years, let me tell you how many hands handle the shirt before it goes into that neat little bag.

1. Someone spreads the fabric and lays the pattern.

2. The cutter cuts it.

3. Someone else ties the different parts together.

4. Another person takes the parts to the sewing people.

5. One sewer attaches the pocket to the front.

6. Another sews the yoke to the back.

7. Another sews that back to the front.

8. Another sews in the sleeves.

9. Another sews the side seams.

10. Still another hems the bottom.

11. Another adds the collar.

12. Another sews on the cuffs (if long-sleeved).

13. Someone else sews on the buttons.

14. Another reinforces the buttonholes.

15. An inspector examines the garment for loose threads.

16. An auditor gives it a final check.

17. And finally, someone folds the shirt and puts it into that nice, clean-looking bag.

Don't even ask how many times it may have fallen on the floor -- or if we washed our hands. Abby, I never wear anything until I wash it! -- JOANN IN MISSISSIPPI

DEAR JOANN: And neither will I. Thank you!

Read more in: Health & Safety | Miscellaneous

Baseball Fans Of Any Age Can Bring Mitts

DEAR ABBY: I'm 59 years old and still take my baseball mitt with me when I go to games in hopes of catching a ball. At what age should a guy stop doing it? (We usually sit in the lower level near the front.) -- MINNESOTA TWINS FAN

DEAR TWINS FAN: Stop taking it when you have grown so aged and feeble that when the ball comes your way, you can no longer fend off the younger fans who are also diving for it. And not one moment sooner.

Read more in: Miscellaneous

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)