Absent father wonders about the fate of mother and child

Published 8:31 am Friday, January 19, 2024

DEAR ABBY: Almost 50 years ago, I got a girl pregnant. She left the state and two years later sent me a letter and a picture of the cutest baby –
mine. Her letter ripped me apart. I admit I was a terrible person and deserved everything she wrote.
Now that I’m up in years, I would like to know about her and the child. I have thought about the baby often throughout the years. I don’t want back into her life, but I would certainly like to see her. I have been thinking about hiring a private investigator to find her whereabouts. Your thoughts on this? – DEFERRED DAD IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR DAD: After the private investigator lets you know where your old girlfriend is (providing she’s still on this side of the sod), refrain from showing up in person. Clearly, the “girl” has gone on with her life, and the “baby” is well into middle age. Write your old flame a letter, or have your lawyer do it, explaining you have thought about her and the child, and ask if either of them is willing to meet with you. Then cross your fingers.
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DEAR ABBY: I have been obese most of my life. Recently, I had a health issue that resulted in my losing a significant amount of weight. Thankfully, I’m doing much better now.
While I’m happy to be enjoying life as a thinner person, how do I handle the well-meaning questions from people who want to know how I did it? My family and a few close friends know what I went through, but I’m not comfortable sharing the details with co-workers, clients, neighbors, etc., regarding how I got my new figure. How do I satisfy the curiosity of the questioners without seeming rude or divulging too many details? – KEEPING IT TO MYSELF

DEAR KEEPING: You do not have to answer every question that is asked of you. Bear in mind that these folks are acknowledging your achievement, so try this: “Thank you for the compliment, but I prefer not to discuss it.” (Then smile and try not to look like you’re gloating.)
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DEAR ABBY: I live in a different state than my parents with my husband and two children. When we FaceTime with them (mainly my mom) or they come to visit, Mom only talks about my niece and nephew. I love my niece and nephew, but it feels like they are all I hear about.
It makes it seem like Mom doesn’t care or pay attention to my children because she and Dad are thinking only about my niece or nephew. They often compare my children to their cousins as well. If I mention something one of my kids did, Mom instantly says my niece or nephew did the same thing.
Other people have commented that they have noticed her doing this, so I know I’m not being overly sensitive. What can I say to her without upsetting the rest of the family? – MY KIDS COUNT, TOO

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DEAR MY KIDS: If your mother is oblivious to what she has been doing, make clear to her that her favoritism is blatant. Tell her what she is doing is insensitive, that other people have noticed and pointed it out to you and you want it stopped before your children are old enough to catch on. Period.
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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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