DEAR ABBY: I'm a single mother of a beautiful 2-year-old daughter. I have always pictured myself as a mom of four little princesses. When I fantasized about having children, I imagined fairy tales, ballet, cheerleading, dress-up, tea parties -- all girl things.
Now I'm expecting a little boy and I feel heartbroken. When I learned my first was a girl, I couldn't wait to meet her. I bought her everything pink and frilly. Here I am eight weeks from my due date, and I have yet to buy this baby a single thing. When I look at baby boy items, I become severely depressed.
I'm no longer with the baby's father. He and his family are very excited about the baby, as he will be the only male grandchild for this generation. The truth is, the more I think about it, the more I am pulled in the direction of signing over my parental rights to my ex. At least he really wants him, whereas I don't.
I know this sounds terrible and selfish. I feel like a monster, but I can't help it. My family is totally against it. My dad says I shouldn't even allow my ex to visit our son in the hospital after he's born. No one will listen to how I feel. They keep saying my feelings will change after the baby is born, but I doubt it. I just need some guidance. -- UNDESERVING TITLE OF MOMMY
DEAR MOMMY: I don't think you are a monster. I DO think you are not thinking objectively right now. Let me point out that life doesn't always go the way we fantasize. Because you imagined that you'd be the mother of four little princesses doesn't guarantee that you WILL be.
I see no need to rush into signing any papers right now, regardless of how eager your boyfriend and his parents are about the baby. There will be time for that later, if you still want to. For now, ask your parents to help you select some baby boy outfits, and tell your doctor about all of your feelings because they may be hormonal.
You might benefit from some professional counseling right now -- more than I can offer you -- and I urge you to get it before doing anything you might later regret.
DEAR ABBY: I received a restaurant gift card from some friends. When I presented it at a restaurant, it was refused as "never having been activated through purchase."
I called my friends to let them know, thinking it was a mistake on the part of the restaurant at the time it was purchased. They said they would come by and pick up the card. I have heard nothing from them since, and I haven't written a thank-you note or made any further attempt to contact them.
Was I right in calling them? Do I now ignore the whole thing? -- GIFT CARD DENIED
DEAR G.C.D.: You did nothing wrong in calling your friends to tell them what happened. They may not have picked it up because they were embarrassed, or because they really never intended to activate it. I don't think it's necessarily worth ending a relationship over -- IF you want to continue a friendship with people whose credibility you question.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)