DEAR ABBY: I am the mother of a wonderful 2-year-old daughter. I am also a college student who works three nights a week as a waitress. Abby, I can hardly express how sick it makes me feel when a woman who is obviously pregnant orders an alcoholic drink. I feel that I am a party to giving an unborn baby poison. I thank God that my precious child has been healthy since the day she was born, so I find it hard to struggle with this crisis of conscience.
Does the law requiring labels warning of alcohol's danger to unborn babies compel me to verbally inform the customers, since they never see the bottle of wine? Can I refuse to serve these women without losing my job? What can I do to ease my conscience? - SCOTTSDALE WAITRESSDEAR WAITRESS: I respect your sensitivity and integrity, but were you to refuse service to anyone for personal reasons, you would surely lose your job. (Aside from pregnant women, how do you feel about serving alcohol to customers who, in your opinion, have had enough to drink?)
Since you feel that serving alcohol to a pregnant woman makes you guilty of giving "poison" to an unborn baby, ease your conscience by switching to a job that will not require you to serve alcohol at all. Good luck in your job search.
DEAR ABBY: I've been married to Harry for six years. It's been a constant struggle to keep our marriage going, due to his drinking and my co-dependency. Harry has been sober for six months, and we are both seeing therapists at an alcohol treatment center.
Recently, we had such a severe crisis that we considered divorce. We both did a lot of crying and thinking. (We have four children.) During this time, Harry went to his parents for emotional support.
His mother decided that I am not a good wife because I don't cook big, elaborate meals, and I don't give Harry sex often enough, so divorce would be in his best interest. Then she cooked a pork roast and made sandwiches from the leftovers for him to take to work. She brought this lunch to the house while Harry wasn't home and said to me, "You don't like me doing this, do you?"
I replied, "No, I don't."
Then she shook her finger in my face and proceeded to tell me all the things she didn't like about me, so I took her hand in mine and held it at her waist while I attempted to correct her misconceptions. Then she sat down and waited for Harry to come home so she could tell him that I had picked a fight with her and twisted her arm! Can you believe this?
What do you think of this woman's behavior? She has been interfering in my marriage since day one, and I am totally exasperated! What is your advice? - END OF MY ROPE
DEAR END: As I see it, the central problem in your marriage is your mother-in-law's interference. She must let go of her son so he can be a mature man instead of a mama's boy.
You say that both you and Harry are seeing therapists. That's good. What does your therapist think of Harry's complaining to his mother about his inadequate sex life? Unless your husband can outgrow his dependence on his mother, I see little hope for your marriage.
By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)