DEAR ABBY: Please, please print this as soon as possible so my husband and I can stop fighting about it. I'm sure you will see it my way.

I work days and my husband works nights. We have a 5-month-old baby boy who my husband takes care of during the day and I take care of at night.My husband accuses me of being too protective of our son. He may be right, but I will let you be the judge. One day, I was talking to my husband on the phone and he said, "The baby is sleeping - I think I'll run over to get a pizza and bring it home." I flipped out! Abby, the pizza parlor he wanted to "run to" is two blocks from where we live.

I told him he shouldn't even THINK of leaving the baby alone for two minutes - EVER! Then he started in again with how overprotective I am, and we had a huge fight on the telephone.

He never did get the pizza that day, but I worry now, wondering if he has ever left the baby alone without telling me. Or maybe he would do so in the future. I wanted to ask friends and family what they think so I could prove my point to him, but I don't want any of them to know that he even considered leaving our baby alone. Please settle this. I am desperate. - MASSACHUSETTS MOTHER

DEAR MOTHER: A baby should never, never be left alone. If you have the slightest doubt that your husband has left your baby alone for as much as five minutes - or that he would do so in the future - don't trust him to look after the baby. Get a sitter.

DEAR ABBY: A while back you had a letter in your column from someone who wanted to know if it was OK to ask "who else will be there" before accepting or declining an invitation. There could be a good reason.

I am a 56-year-old successful professional woman with a rather unusual handicap I've never been comfortable disclosing to others: I am unable to remember the names of casual friends and acquaintances. Once a person has been identified for me, my memory of that person returns, and from then on, I'm fine. I have a good memory and function well in other areas. I have been psychoanalyzed up one side and down the other, so I know this condition isn't caused by emotional problems.

When I attend a social event, if I know in advance who will be there, I can recognize them. Otherwise, I must wait until someone uses their name, which doesn't always happen. This has caused me endless embarrassment. I cannot very well say, "Who are you? I've only seen you 100 times."

So, please, Abby, don't condemn those who ask, "Who else will be there?" - DRAWS A BLANK

DEAR DRAWS: Obviously, knowing in advance who else will be there has its advantages. I had in mind those who inquired before accepting an invitation in order to decide whether to accept or not. For a valid defense of that inquiry, read on:

DEAR ABBY: What's wrong with asking, "Who else will be there?" I am not anti-social; I thoroughly enjoy the company of friends with whom I can exchange some meaningful conversation. But I consider it a waste of time to make small talk with a collection of strangers I may never see again. If I know in advance who will be there, I can always stay home. - GIVE ME A BREAK

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