DEAR ABBY: Whenever I see a pregnant woman or an elderly person in line behind me who seems uncomfortable or tired, I always want to let them go ahead of me. Is this regarded as a nice gesture, or does it make them feel pathetic and helpless? I do it with the best intentions, but I don't want to offend anyone. -- RACHEL IN TENNESSEE
DEAR RACHEL: It's regarded as a thoughtful gesture. If someone feels that your deference is offensive, then he or she is free to refuse your generous offer. And if that happens -- which I doubt will happen frequently -- do not blame yourself for having extended the courtesy.