DEAR ABBY: I have been reading your column for years and I trust your judgment. I'm a 33-year-old woman with a 17-year-old son. I am very proud of him. He is an honor student and has never given me any trouble. We are very close.
My problem is that he wants to know something about his father. Who is he? Where is he? Will he ever meet him? I have refused to answer any of these questions - saying I don't want to talk about it with him or anybody else. Yet I realize that my son deserves some kind of answer.Abby, how does a mother tell her 17-year-old son that she was raped when she was 15, and from then on, she had such a low opinion of herself, she couldn't count the men in her life? I would go on a drunk and sleep with one guy after another. I honestly have no idea who my son's father is.
When I found out I was pregnant, I agreed to put my baby up for adoption, but after he was born and I held him in my arms, I couldn't give him up. I decided to keep him and be the best mother I could be.
I feel that I made the right decision. I couldn't ask for a better son. (He's the only child I've ever had.) How can I tell him the truth? It's such an ugly story. I'm afraid he'll hate me. Please help me, Abby. - KEEPING QUIET
DEAR KEEPING QUIET: I've had some letters that were difficult to answer, but this tops them all.
You're right. Your son deserves some kind of answer, and the only answer - ugly as you think it is - is the truth. Rather than "hate" you, he has good reason to love you all the more. With all the odds against you, you kept your son and raised him to be a fine young man.
DEAR ABBY: I just read your column about inferior glue on postage stamps. I would like to know: Since the cost of postage may go up soon, do people like me, who just want our mail delivered on time, subsidize the cost of artwork done to change the stamps so often? Most of us would be happy to look at the same picture forever if we could keep the cost down. Who pays for all these fancy changes?
Also, it's especially distressing to hear that they are considering putting Elvis Presley on a stamp when the world is fighting drug addiction! - FLOORED IN FLORIDA
DEAR FLOORED: Who pays for all the fancy changes in postage stamps? You and I, along with the rest of the taxpayers. I was not solicited for advice concerning whose picture should appear on postage stamps, but had I been, I would gladly have gone along with the old familiar presidents and "Old Glory."
I know it costs a bundle to tool up for a new postage stamp, and I'll bet it would be enough to feed our homeless for at least a year.
DEAR ABBY: I received a form to fill out in response to having indicated that I will attend my high school's 25th reunion.
There was a space for "spouse." Abby, I have no spouse, but I have been living with a person for several years in a committed relationship, and this person shall attend with me. How should I fill in the blank? I can't very well put "live-in," can I? - GOING HOME
DEAR GOING: No. But you could write in "companion," "friend" or "significant other."
C) 1990 Universal Press Syndicate