DEAR ABBY: The letter you published from the office women, in conflict over whether a baby shower should be given for an unwed mother-to-be, revived a long-forgotten memory
In 1962, I was 17 and had just graduated from high school. I had to give up two scholarships to college and take a job because I was pregnant and unmarried. In those days, most unwed mothers were sent away to have their babies, then gave them up for adoption so that no one in the family would be embarrassed. I chose to stay home and keep my baby.I'm sure my parents were embarrassed and disappointed in me. The baby's father and I were immature, and a silly quarrel had caused our breakup. I was so depressed that I considered suicide on a daily basis.
In my seventh month of pregnancy, 30 women from my office gave me a baby shower! I can't begin to tell you how much it meant to me to have those wonderful women shower me with their good wishes and much-needed gifts. They literally saved my life and my baby's life.
That shower turned my life around. After that, I was able to hold my head up. When my son was a year old, his father and I got together and were married. Five years later, we had another son. I worked while my husband finished college, and after he graduated, I went to college and graduated in 1977. Today, our firstborn is married and has a son of his own.
Abby, when I think of how close I came to ending my life, I shudder. I also thank God for those wonderful co-workers who didn't ponder whether it was proper to give a baby shower for an unmarried girl. That shower brought me out of the worst depression of my life.
Your advice was right on, Abby. Keep up the good work. - KAREN IN ROCHESTER
DEAR ABBY: I am married to a man who is a wonderul person, but he has a habit that drives me crazy - he's a fidgeter. There is never a moment that he is not tapping his fingers, jiggling his leg or wiggling in some way. This even goes on in the bed. I have tried to ignore his fidgeting and have even asked him to stop several times, but he claims he's not aware that he is doing it.
It bothers me to the point where I want to just scream at him to knock it off, because it makes me nervous to be around him. We try not to be too critical of each other's behavior, so I feel guilty asking him to stop, but I'm getting angrier and angrier about his fidgeting because I don't think he cares about the effect it has on me. (I can feel my blood pressure rising when he starts.)
I think he could control this behavior if he wanted to, but do I have a right to insist on it? - CAN'T STAND IT MUCH LONGER
DEAR CAN'T: Your problem is not your husband's nervous habit - it's your reaction to it.
For heaven's sake, when he starts to fidget, remind him quietly that his fidgeting is getting on your nerves. It if continues, leave the room. But don't let it raise your blood pressure - that's what strokes are made of!
CONFIDENTIAL TO MARGO HOWARD: Happy birthday, Granny! - "AUNT PO"
What teenagers need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with their peers and parents is now in Abby's updated, expanded booklet, "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)