DEAR ABBY: My 11-year-old daughter (I'll call her Cindy) just told me that her girlfriend (I'll call her Debbie) told her that she and her boyfriend had had sex. Debbie and her boyfriend are both 11 years old! Debbie made Cindy promise not to tell anybody, so I had to swear on my honor that I wouldn't say or do anything about this.
Abby, I'm afraid NOT to do anything about it, but if I break my promise to my daughter and she finds out about it, it will ruin the wonderful, close mother-daughter relationship we have always had.I don't know what to do. Cindy told me the boy's name. If I send it to you, will you intervene? Or should I make an anonymous telephone call to the kids' school - or to the police - and let them deal with this? - SMALL TOWN, U.S.A.
DEAR SMALL TOWN: This is not the business of the school or the police; it's the business of Debbie's and her boyfriend's parents. Assuming that what your daughter told you is true, punishment is not the solution. Education is.
Debbie and her boyfriend need to realize that sex is not all fun and games; along with sex should be commitment and responsibility - far beyond the intellectual and financial capabilities of two 11-year-olds.
Since you and your daughter enjoy such a close relationship, urge her to try to persuade Debbie to confide in her own mother - or even in you if she can't bring herself to discuss this with her mother. She needs an adult friend she can talk to. And so does her boyfriend.
Anyone who doubts that two 11-year-olds can produce a baby, or contract a venereal disease, should get in touch with the nearest United Way or family planning clinic. Regrettably, it can - and does - happen.
DEAR ABBY: My husband died six months ago. We had a wonderful life together, but we were never rich. Our son and daughter - both married - were aware of our circumstances and promised to pay for their father's funeral, but they never did, so I paid for it, which wiped me out financially. Abby, I need this money now. My husband's illness took everything we had, and my children knew this.
I have mentioned this to them many times, but so far they have ignored my hints and requests. My son makes good money, and his wife works, too. My daughter and her husband also have jobs that pay well.
Next week my daughter and I are driving across the state to visit my son and his family. They are all fans of yours, Abby, and never miss your column, so I hope you will print this as a reminder of their promise. - DISAPPOINTED BUT DESPERATE
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: It's too bad your children need to see a letter in my column to remind them of their promise. I suggest that you remind your daughter again on the drive to visit your son. When you get there, remind the two of them while you have them together. And here's your letter - just in case. I wish you well.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to the letter from "Patti" who lost the sight of one eye because she put a bottle of fingernail polish in the microwave to thin it - and the bottle "exploded" when she went to take it out.
Please inform your readers that if they store nail polish in the refrigerator, it will remain the proper consistency and last a lot longer. This also applies to base-coat and top-coat polishes. I have some that I purchased a year ago, and they're still as good as new. - NANCY CUNNINGHAM, PHOENIX