DEAR ABBY: I am writing in response to "Robin in Newark, Calif." (July 12), who stated that he was annoyed because people thought his son was his grandson. I have had a similar problem all my life.
I am a 12-year-old girl. My father is 67. Kids ask me if he is my grandpa.
When I was really young, I'd say, "No! He is my father!" Now that I am a little bit more mature, I say, "No. He is my brother's father." It's cheesy, but they get the hint. -- MARCI IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR MARCI: I like your answer. You're a wise young lady with a clever sense of humor. The letters I received from readers of all ages prove it's all "relative," regardless of how you say it:
DEAR ABBY: My dad had an even better comeback when he was asked whether my younger sister was his grandchild. He would say, "No, she's my sister." It was just a funny comeback that wasn't offensive to anyone. -- LOVES HER DAD
DEAR ABBY: I just read the letter from "Robin," who would become upset when people asked if his baby was his grandson.
My father was a judge in upstate New York when he married my mother. Two years later, when he was 50 and she was 38, I came along. I can still remember how Dad would respond when someone would ask if I was his granddaughter. He would chuckle proudly and say, "No, she's my daughter," and beam. The person who asked would be momentarily surprised, and then smile. Everyone felt good about it.
Robin, you've got bragging rights. Revel in them! -- STEPHANIE IN ALABAMA
DEAR ABBY: My husband, Joe, is 75, and we have a 2 1/2-year-old son. Joe goes through the same thing -- people assume that he is "Grandpa." Unlike Robin, we love people's reaction when we tell them he is "Daddy."
People think my husband is in his late 50s and are surprised he has a son who is so young. Imagine the look on their faces when we tell them his real age. He has gotten handshakes, high fives, thumbs-up and pats on the back. People remember us because of our son. We enjoy the reactions, conversations and, sometimes, the friendships we have made because of our situation.
Please tell Robin to take it in stride and be proud that he has a chance to be a daddy at his age. I know my husband is. -- BRENDA IN OZONA, TEXAS
DEAR ABBY: My husband, a college professor, took our 18-month-old son, Charles, to school with him one day. One of the students commented about his "grandson." When he came home, his ego was thoroughly deflated.
I had a T-shirt made for our little boy that said, "He's My Dad" on the front and "Not My Granddad" on the back. Charles wore the shirt frequently.
That was more than 20 years ago. Charles has grown into a wonderful young man ... but I'm not sure my husband ever completely recovered from that student's comment. -- I'M THE MOM