I accidentally named my baby after my stepdad’s mistress
DEAR ABBY: I recently gave birth to our second child, a girl. Shortly after, my husband called his mother. She lives in a different state a few hours away and only visits once a year. When he told her the happy news and the name of our little girl, which we had kept secret, she got very angry. It seems that the name we had chosen, unbeknownst to us, was that of her husband’s mistress from years ago.
For days after, she called my husband crying and begging him to change our baby’s name, telling him he should never have kept it a secret. She told him she would never say that name. A week later, we received a generous gift of baby clothes in the mail from her. At this stage, she did not inquire with me, the one who gave birth. She refuses to recognize our baby’s name and will only call her “little”.
I don’t know how to thank her for her generous donation, because normally I would call her. But it’s clear that she doesn’t want to hear from me. Could you please indicate how we are moving forward? — WRONG NAME IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR BAD NAME: It’s unfortunate that the name you (and your husband, I presume) chose for your daughter is the same as the name of the woman your stepfather cheated with. If your mother-in-law’s solution to the problem is to call her granddaughter “little”, accept it. He seems very affectionate, in fact. And when you write her a cute thank-you note for her generous gift, sign it: “With love from (your name) and ‘Little One,’ which I think is a sweet nickname.”
DEAR ABBY: I am a happily married gay man in my 50s. About a year ago, I was contacted on Facebook Messenger by a man from out of state, and we developed what I consider a casual friendship. My new friend has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. He lives with his family and requires full support for his mobility and personal care. He has normal cognition, from what I can tell.
I can only imagine how difficult it would be to develop friendships and relationships with a severe disability. I have an active social life and I chat here and there with him almost every day, but I know that I am much more a part of his life than he is of mine. He refers to me as his best friend and says he needs his time with me. He does not harass me and is always respectful. He’s gay, but closeted, and he knows I’m married.
It is obvious that he is very alone. I don’t want to lead him, but I know this relationship is very unbalanced. Can I keep casually texting, saying hello, and asking about her day? I feel like I’m his only friend. — UNCERTAIN IN TENNESSEE
DEAR UNCERTAIN: It would be a kindness to continue to casually text, say hello and ask this extremely isolated individual about his day. But while you’re at it, it would be Also be kind enough to encourage him to open up his world and expand his circle of friends by going online and chatting with like-minded people.
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 DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
New York Post