DEAR ABBY: Our 23-year-old son, "Jason," told me yesterday about a letter he had received from his grandmother. In it she complained that she's embarrassed by his having fathered a child out of wedlock and said the situation is "very difficult" for her. ... Our younger son, "Connor," spent last summer in jail for stealing from us and possession of a controlled substance, but he did not receive a similar letter. ... Should I tell this woman that if she can't be supportive, she should keep a respectful distance? ... -- IRATE IN NEW YORKThe son who spent the summer in jail does not need a letter to tell him that he did wrong. It is the son with the out-of-wedlock child who might be helped by getting some advice from someone other than his overly-supportive mom.
DEAR IRATE: Let's view the situation from your mother-in-law's point of view for a moment. ... From a "contemporary" point of view, having a baby without being married is no longer the shock and disgrace that it was when your mother-in-law was a girl. ... The fact that your younger son did not receive a similar letter from his grandmother is a reflection of her skewed sense of priorities.
Dear Abby also fails to give good advice to the next writer:
DEAR ABBY: I have a big problem. My sister keeps telling me not to use a lot of water because in the future my great-grandchildren are not going to have enough water. Now I feel like I should never have sex because I do not want my great-grandchildren to suffer.Someone should tell her that all water is recycled, and her water usage will have nothing to do with the water available to her great-grandchildren.
Yeah, I know I am only 13, and I am already thinking about my children. Should I just forget it or never have children? Please, I need your help! -- WHAT ABOUT THE FUTURE, ROCKFORD, TENN.