DEAR ABBY: I would like to tell "Grandmother at 33," whose 16-year-old daughter is about to become a mother, that her advice is too little, too late.
She said: "You are about to become a mother at 16. Isn't that nice? Don't expect me to be at your beck and call. I'll baby-sit only when it's convenient."These are "words of wisdom" from a mother? Where was she when her daughter needed advice on how not to get pregnant? I don't mean just contraception, but how to say "NO" in the first place! If this is her oldest child, she too was pregnant at 16, so I guess you can't teach what you don't know.
I am particularly angry because I am 38 and childless. My husband and I have been trying to have a baby for eight years without success.
We have a beautiful home with a spare room that we have been hoping and praying to fill one day with a crib and toys. Ours is a good strong marriage based on love, respect and sharing. We are emotionally, intellectually and financially equipped to handle the responsibility of parenthood. We didn't postpone having a baby because our careers came first. Neither my husband nor I has a high-pressure job, nor do we want them. My husband is a schoolteacher who loves children. And my fondest dream was to be called "Mommy." But we didn't meet and fall in love until we were in our 30s.
We have a sad situation in this country where children are having children, and couples like us who would give anything to adopt a child are told by the adoption agencies that we are "too old."
I know there's nothing you can do about my problem, but I had to get this off my chest. - JANE IN LONG ISLAND
DEAR JANE: That's what I'm here for.
DEAR ABBY: Each year you print a list of suggested items to buy an older person for Christmas. I would like to add another suggestion. I work for a company doing its insurance. We have a large group of retirees. I see how these people suffer after they're 65 years old, with no financial help for medication from Medicare or insurance policies.
A gift certificate from their local pharmacy where they purchase their drugs would be a very good gift.
I hope you think this is worth printing. - ANN CAGLE, ASHEBORO, N.C.
DEAR ANN: Why not? It's just what the doctor ordered.
DEAR ABBY: Please say something on behalf of us who reside in popular cities such as Scottsdale, New York City and Los Angeles and who have this problem. I'm sure I'm not alone.
I'm referring to my airline friends who fly for little or nothing and are constantly visiting my wife and me. They expect to be wined and dined, housed and entertained. They borrow our car, drink our alcohol and eat our food. As a further insult, they may say, "I'm low on cash, but since I had five days off, I thought it would be nice to spend them with you."
Abby, I'm no Scrooge, and I'm no wimp, either. I enjoy company as much as anyone else, but how would you like to deal with these users? - PO'D IN SCOTTSDALE
DEAR PO'D: When these "friends" call you to tell you they are coming, inform them you are going - to be busy. Forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but no one can be imposed upon without his consent.
DEAR ABBY: I have just received your booklet, "What Every Teenager Ought to Know." I ordered it to give to my 12 year old niece. How I wish I had read this booklet 35 years ago. I am 44, experienced sex at 13, married at 16, had a child shortly after, and was divorced before I was 20.
I am now married to a very fine man, which was lucky for me considering the way I started out. Abby, it would be ideal if all preteens, teens, and even 20-and 30-year-olds would keep this very precious loving act for marriage, but those who don't need to know how to keep teenage sex from ruining their lives.
Please keep telling young people what they ought to know. You are doing a wonderful job. Please advertise this booklet. It's the best $2.50 I ever spent.
LUCKY IN MEDFORD, ORE.
DEAR LUCKY: Thanks for your kind words. The booklet can be obtained by sending a check or money order for $2.50 and a long, stamped (39 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054.
CONFIDENTIAL TO J.S. IN VIRGINIA BEACH: The deed has been done. Sleep well.