Dear Abby: For 2 1/2 years I have taken care of my daughter without the help of her father. He pays child support only when the courts threaten to throw him in jail, but he never comes to see her. When he does come by, it's not to see or spend time with her, it's to try and get sex from me. Sometimes I give in and give it to him as an itch to scratch.
He recently got "married" and now has four other children. The last time he was over, I noticed that he has all his children's initials tattooed on his arm except our daughter's, and it bothered me.
I only want what is best for my little girl, and I have made it clear that if he isn't a part of her life now, that he needs to stay away until she's an adult. I don't want her to be hurt by a part-time or sometimes dad. I guess my question is, is it OK to be angry that he doesn't recognize her as his child but does his other four? – PO'd in Ohio
Dear PO'd: Oh, goodness gracious, yes. And because you don't want your child to be hurt by this man, I'm advising you to quit being his booty call. There are other ways to scratch an itch, depending upon whose itch it is. If you continue seeing him under these circumstances, you could wind up being the mother of another one of his children, God forbid.
Dear Abby: I am writing this hoping that anyone who is in a supervisory position at work will see it and think before pressuring employees to buy popcorn, cookies, wrapping paper, trinkets, chocolate bars, etc., for their children's schools or organizations. This is extortion. I have tried saying, "No, thank you," but I get such a bad attitude from my supervisor that I end up ordering something – usually the cheapest item – to avoid the drama.
I can't afford to drop $20 here and there on items I wouldn't otherwise buy or eat. It's a lot of money to employees who haven't had wage or benefit increases in more than four years. I can barely keep my car filled with gas and have to unroll coins sometimes to pick up food for dinner a day or two before payday.
PLEASE tell bosses and managers not to solicit sales from employees. It's tacky! – Turned Off in Pennsylvania
Dear Turned Off: I'm happy to get the word out because I agree that the sales tactic your supervisor is using is tacky. Parents who do this for their children deny the kids the experience of doing the selling and learning to cope with rejection if prospective customers don't buy.
Because you don't have $20 to spare, you might be able to deflect the "attitude" by offering a small donation – a dollar or two – to the cause. But if you can't spare any money, then stiffen your spine and don't let yourself be made to feel guilty. Buying things you don't need is not part of your job description.
Dear Abby: My sister-in-law wrote the following to my husband in a birthday card: "I couldn't find a card that really fit you. None of them said 'sweet, kind, sexy, lovable, friendly, intelligent, or one of the best brothers-in-law ever,' so I'm telling you in my own words. If I could get ahold of my husband's money, I'd send you on a cruise."
Was this appropriate? I don't think so. My husband says she didn't mean anything. Help? – Shocked in Tennessee
Dear Shocked: Speaking of cruises, throw your sister-in-law a lifesaver, because I think she went overboard.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.