DEAR ABBY: In all the 33 years I have read your column, nothing has appalled me like the letter from the live-in who described herself as "Almost No. 2." She said, "He left his wife and two kids because the responsibility gave him no time for himself." What idiocy!
What kind of woman would want a man who shows no responsibility for his own children, but expects him to parent HER kids? These people are sick, sick, sick! You were much too easy on them with your answer. Stand tough, Abby. -- MARY EGAN IN DALLAS
DEAR MARY: I advised the woman not to try to defend her position, which was indefensible. I do not flog those who write to me, even when I disapprove of their actions. Mine is an advice column -- not a whipping post.
Believe me, my readers got the message. The letters are still flying in. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I have never been as angry as I was after I read the letter signed "Almost No. 2." She said, "Nine- and 16-year-olds don't need a lot of attention." These are critical ages in their lives, and being ignored by their father because he "needs more time to himself" is clearly child abuse.
When people ask why the kids aren't around, "Almost No. 2" and her boyfriend should tell the truth: "We want them around only when we have nothing else better to do." That's the message he's sending out to his kids.
If his children are too much of a responsibility, he should have kept his pants on. These two deserve each other. -- MOM WHO LOVES TO BE WITH HER SON