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by Abigail Van Buren

Dad and Stepmom Masquerade as Each Other in Texts

DEAR ABBY: My father and his wife use each other's cellphones interchangeably when they text me. While the number that pops up on my phone might be Dad's, it could just as easily be "Caroline" on the other end.

I have asked them to clarify who I'm talking to before I start texting back, the way we used to do when answering a landline, but they are offended and say I should be able to answer either of them the same way so it doesn't matter who I'm texting. Sometimes I suspect one of them is pretending to be the other. That's weird, right? What should I do in this situation? -- WHO'S TEXTING?

DEAR WHO'S TEXTING: People have a right to know with whom they are communicating. I am trying to decide whether what your father and his wife are doing is overly casual, playful, immature or bizarre. It's definitely unusual behavior. I suppose the way to handle it would be to ask, "Is this Dad, Caroline or 'Dadoline'?" and not respond further until you get an answer.

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