DEAR ABBY: My youngest grown son discovered that his girlfriend -- his possible future wife -- was texting pictures of herself to his stepfather. Needless to say, he told her the relationship is over.
Now, for obvious reasons, he no longer wants to be around his stepfather, and is deeply concerned about how it will affect his relationship with his mother, my ex-wife. They are close, which I encouraged, but she seems to be in denial about the situation. Have you any suggestions on how to be supportive of my son and all the dynamics? -- TOO MUCH DRAMA IN MISSOURI
DEAR TOO MUCH DRAMA: You say your ex-wife seems to be in denial. Was the reason for the breakup ever explained to her? If it wasn't, then your son should talk to his mother about it, and from then on arrange to see her alone.
DEAR ABBY: I just dropped off my 13-year-old son at a party. He's a seventh-grader, and when I take him to a friend's house, if I haven't met the parents, I walk him to the door and introduce him and myself to them.
I do this to try and make sure the parents are at home and responsible. (Honestly, if they weren't, I'd take my son and leave.) I know it embarrasses him, but most parents thank me because they want to meet the parents of the kids who are in their homes.
Times are different for our kids today. I just can't believe that someone would simply drop off a child and speed away when he/she has absolutely no clue who these people are. I'm not a helicopter parent; I'm just a mother who loves my children enough to make sure they're in good hands.
Recently, a ninth-grader in our school district had a house party where 30 kids received underage drinking citations! Sorry -- but I'm taking no chances. Parenting is not being your child's best friend. Please encourage parents not to be afraid to reach out to other parents. It really does take a village. -- VIGILANT IN BUCKS COUNTY, PA.
DEAR VIGILANT: Your children are fortunate to have a mother who is as involved in their lives as you are. Not all young people are so lucky. Your son may find your vigilance embarrassing, but take comfort in knowing that all kids your son's age find their parents embarrassing.
Orchids to you for pointing out the importance of parents networking with each other to ensure that their children are safe and supervised. When an entire "village" is watching, there is less chance of a lamb straying.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my wife for 33 years. I recently found a pair of her panties with "Booty Call" printed across the back. I can't help but wonder. She has never had underwear like that in 33 years. What gives? -- SURPRISED TEXAN
DEAR SURPRISED: Was your wife wearing the lingerie at the time? If not, how did you discover the panties?
The surest way to get to the bottom of this would be to ask your wife this question. She may have thought they were cute and bought them on impulse -- or they may have been a gift. Please let me know, because not only am I interested in her answer, but I'm sure millions of readers are curious, too.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)