DEAR ABBY: Yesterday was my 20th birthday. Aren't birthdays supposed to be happy occasions? Well, if you're in jail and on your way to prison like me, maybe not.
"Prisoner in Reno, Nev." thinks she's got it bad at home because her parents won't let her out much. She should remember this: There is always someone who has it worse than she has. Her parents are overprotective because they love her. Even though I'm locked up, my parents still care for me. They're worried sick.
Let me ask you this, "Prisoner" - do your parents search you before and after you leave your room? Do they make you eat nasty food you wouldn't give your worst enemy? Do they routinely search your room? What I'm trying to say is, count your blessings.
You ended your letter by asking, "What should I do?" Well, I'm on a one-way trip down a road that leads nowhere. Now tell me, what should I do? - INMATE ON A DEAD END
DEAR INMATE: I don't know what you did to receive a prison sentence, but it's possible that you should feel lucky to be alive.
Since you asked what you should do, I strongly suggest you follow all prison rules to the letter, do not believe everything you hear from the other inmates, and take any classes that are offered to improve yourself.
Even under these difficult circumstances, you still have control over how "happy" your future birthdays can be.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have a beautiful 3-year-old daughter I'll call Bonnie. She's the result of artificial insemination, as my husband is unable to father a child. Our little girl is our pride and joy. We cannot decide if or how to tell Bonnie that my husband is not her biological father. Is it necessary to tell her at all, and if so, when and how? My fear is that Bonnie will reject her dad if she finds out.
I am assuming there would be no health-related need for our daughter to know, as semen donors are supposed to be screened for inherited diseases, but I guess you never know.
My feminine intuition tells me we should tell her the truth. I know there must be a lot of parents out there who have dealt with this issue - or will face it in the future. I would appreciate any input I can get.
Please don't use my name. Very few people know that my husband did not father our daughter. Just sign me ... FLORIDA MOM
DEAR FLORIDA MOM: My feminine intuition - and common sense - tells me that your daughter should be told. You stated that "very few people know the truth." When more than two people know a secret, it's usually no longer a secret. It's better that she hear it from you and your husband.
Your daughter should be told when she is old enough to understand the mechanics and all of the implications of artificial insemination - including the pain and frustration of wanting your own child and being unable to have one.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
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