DEAR ABBY: I am a self-supporting woman, well over 21. I mind my own business, and I wish other people would mind theirs. I have a good friend (male) who buys my groceries. In return, all he gets from me is home cooking - believe it or not. He's divorced and hates to eat out, and I think it's a good deal for both of us as I love to cook.
He usually sleeps here on weekends because he likes wine with his dinner (so do I) and he doesn't like driving home after he's had wine because it makes him sleepy. Some of my neighbors have slipped insulting notes under my door. I've done nothing to be ashamed of. Is it fair to be judged by appearances? - UNJUSTLY JUDGEDDEAR JUDGED: No, but your neighbors can't be blamed for thinking there's more cooking at your place than home-cooked meals. If you don't want to be mistaken for a duck, don't walk like a duck, quack like a duck, or leave yourself open for fowl rumors.
DEAR ABBY: With the increase of foreign adoptions in our country, perhaps it's time to introduce some "adoption etiquette" to the general public.
My husband and I adopted a beautiful child from Korea. Since she is Asian and we are Caucasian, it is obvious that we are not her natural parents, but we are constantly approached by strangers who ask these questions:
- "Is she your real child?" (When our child hears this, she may wonder if she's "real" or "unreal," which could confuse her.)
- "Don't you have any children of your own?" (She may wonder that if she isn't ours - whose child is she?)
- "How much did she cost?" (This question is very offensive. Adopted children are not purchased; legal fees for adoption differ vastly.)
- "How could anyone give away such a beautiful child? You must be very special people to take in someone else's child." (When our daughter hears this, she assumes she wasn't wanted, so we took her in.)
- "Bet you get pregnant now!" (If the painful infertility issue applies, how rude to bring it up.)
- "What happened to her `real' parents?" (Do these ignorant, insensitive people think we would stand in a supermarket and discuss such a personal matter with a stranger?)
Abby, the list could be much longer, but I think you have the idea. Well-wishers should confine their comments to, "Congratulations and good luck" if they feel compelled to say anything at all. If you print this, I'm sure thousands of adoptive parents will thank you. - PROUD PARENTS OF A REAL CHILD
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