My son "Jake" was born in June. His father was a good friend whom I thought I loved and that he loved me. The day I told him I was pregnant, he disappeared.
Our baby boy just died from SIDS. I'm struggling with Jake's loss and planning his funeral while taking care of my 5-year-old son. Jake's father had his mother call and threaten me. She said, son's "name better not be listed anywhere in the obituary."
I'm at a loss about how to deal with both of them. I did not list the father's name anywhere, but it was my choice. After the funeral I'm not sure if I want to see either one of them ever again. Any advice?
- Grieving in Colorado
DEAR GRIEVING: I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy. Yes, I do have a word of advice. Even in the midst of your grief, you are thinking clearly. Why you would ever want contact with either of those despicable individuals again is beyond me. Feel free to write them off and go on with your life.
Block out the old 'Chip' and walk away, Renee
DEAR ABBY: My coworker and I have been seeing each other for a while now. We are both married. I am separated - my husband moved out - while "Chip" is still at home with his wife and kids. He says he loves me and plans on leaving his family.
I have decided I don't want him after all. I have told him to stay with his wife, but Chip keeps wanting to "talk." We see each other at work every day. It's uncomfortable around coworkers.
I've been looking for another job (for other reasons). I feel ashamed, and I don't want to be the "other woman." I don't know whether to wait for him or just walk out.
- Lost in Arizona
DEAR LOST: Chip knows you are ambivalent, which is why he wants to keep talking to you. If you meant what you wrote, that you do not want to be the other woman, then end the affair once and for all and - as you put it - just walk out.
Corralling rowdy kids in public situations
DEAR ABBY: I have worked in various retail places for many years. I am surprised at how some parents allow their children to run amok in stores, and fail to teach them how to behave in public places.
When this happens, and there's a danger of them running into tables and customers (I have seen it happen), should the employees say something to the children? Or should they notify the manager about the disruptive children, and let the manager talk to the parents or the children? Should it be announced over the intercom that children need to stay with their parents?
What's the best way to handle this problem? A place of business is not a playground. Dignified paying customers who are there to support the business are offended by the lack of discipline some children are allowed to display.
- Paying Customer
DEAR PAYING CUSTOMER: If you take it upon yourself to "correct" the inattentive parent, the person is sure to become defensive. A better way to handle it would be to point it out to the manager of the establishment and let him or her deal with it, because if someone were to be hurt on the premises, there could be legal implications.