DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were dining out and heard a cell phone ring. A woman seated in the booth next to us took a phone out of her purse and proceeded to carry on a 20-minute conversation. By the time she hung up, we knew her name, address, phone number, the ages of her three daughters and that the girls were home alone.
As the couple prepared to leave, I approached her and said we had overheard her conversation -- and to please think of her children's safety when talking on her cell phone in public. Her reply? "We keep a rottweiler in our yard."
Her husband threw a business card down on our table, said, "Here's our address. Let's just see you around our house!" and stormed out. My husband then chewed me out for not minding my own business.
I was polite, not demeaning in any way. I simply pointed out that in this day and age, it's better to be careful when you talk in the presence of strangers.
Abby, don't people care about one another anymore? Was I out of line? The couple's reaction -- and my husband's -- really got to me. Thanks for letting me vent. -- GRANDMOTHER OF FIVE IN NORTH TEXAS
DEAR GRANDMOTHER: I believe people still care about one another. However, your good deed brought about some peculiar dynamics. Your comment embarrassed that naive woman because you made her realize that she had, indeed, put her children at risk. The husband saw his wife's embarrassment and jumped to her defense. Had that man been any more rude, your husband would have had to defend you -- and it could have caused a serious altercation. (That's why your husband chewed you out.)
Be comforted in the knowledge that I probably would have reacted exactly as you did. This would be a sad world, indeed, if nobody tried to help anybody.