DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for five. We have an 8-year-old daughter. Yes, the math is clear -- she was a "love child." My family is religious, and although I was 22 at the time of my pregnancy, they announced that I would not be having a baby shower because I had conceived in sin and it wouldn't look right.
My sister and her husband of five years recently announced that she is pregnant and I am expected to attend showers and parties for her. Am I wrong for not wanting to go? I'll gladly send a gift and be there when the baby is born, but I'd prefer to avoid having to attend any social function where I am shamed for living differently. Her friends are so judgmental that if they suspect you smoke, drink or curse, they roll their eyes and go out of their way to avoid you. -- SHAMED IN DELAWARE
DEAR SHAMED: Baby showers are intended to welcome a new life into the world. They are not supposed to be vehicles for shaming anyone. Frankly, I'm surprised that some of your less religiously fervent friends didn't get together to see that you were given one. Because you and your sister's judgmental crowd have so little in common and you would prefer to avoid them, you have my blessing.