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Maternity fashions reflect women’s pride in pregnancy

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

Dear Abby: I am wondering why pregnant women these days don't wear smocks like we all wore years ago. While I do think pregnant women are attractive, I really don't want to see their swollen bellies. Wouldn't it be better to just "imagine" what is under that smock or long skirt? Does anyone agree with me? – Dorothy in Washington

Dear Dorothy: Some readers may agree, but I'm pretty sure most of them won't. You are harking back to the days when people were embarrassed about the subject of sex, and used euphemisms like "in a family way" or "a bun in the oven" to describe pregnancy.

Women today are proud to show off their silhouettes. In fact, I saw a woman recently sporting a T-shirt with an arrow pointing downward and the words "Baby on Board."

While this may seem to be somewhat "in your face," I think it's healthier than pretending there's nothing going on when the expectant mother is in her seventh month and it's obvious there is.

Dear Abby: I'm 21 and a college student. My mother recently came to visit me and took my boyfriend and me out to dinner. After we were through eating, we sat across the table from my mother and engaged in post-dinner chatter. I draped my arm around his neck and began playing with his ear. It was absent-minded, and I thought nothing of it, but my mother stared from across the table shocked.

She later told me that ear fondling is not appropriate in public. I was taken aback. Isn't it OK to play with my boyfriend's ear in public? Does it make people around us uncomfortable? – Ear Snuggles in Vermont

Dear Ear Snuggles: Playing with someone's ear could be considered foreplay, and seeing it certainly made your mother uncomfortable. Perhaps among your contemporaries it would be acceptable, but as a general rule, it's better to keep intimate gestures of affection private.

Dear Abby: I would like to offer a reminder so people won't have to experience what I am right now. Please take a few minutes to go through your wallet and make photocopies of everything in there. Put the list somewhere you can easily find it. That way, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you'll know what was in it.

I did that years ago, but I didn't keep it current and now I'm upset with myself. Some time over the weekend I misplaced my wallet. Luckily, I don't keep my ID and debit cards there, so at least they are safe. But because I use my wallet so seldom, I'm unsure what was in there.

If people make copies of everything in their wallets, it will be easier to report and replace the things should the need arise. I am so bummed out right now. While I lost only $30, I lost a treasured photograph of my daughter, and I can't remember what other cards may have been in there. – Fuming in Lutz, Fla.

Dear Fuming: I know from personal experience how frustrating losing a wallet can be, so thank you for wanting to remind readers how important it is to copy documents or credit cards they carry with them. It takes only a few minutes, and the peace of mind it brings is worth the effort.

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.

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