DEAR ABBY: Well, it happened again. Our son's birthday has come and gone without any acknowledgment from the grandparents on my husband's side. (My parents always remember.) How do I deal with the pain it causes Junior when these grandparents forget his birthday? It's not as though they didn't know it was coming. Last Christmas, I gave each member of my husband's family a large calendar with all the family members' birthdays and anniversaries circled. And just this last Sunday, my husband's parents stopped by for a visit, and I reminded them that Wednesday would be Junior's birthday. When they said they remembered, we felt relieved that our calendar had worked.
Well, Junior didn't even get a card from them. (They always give their daughter's children money or gifts on their birthdays. She makes a point of letting us know about it.)What should I tell Junior when he asks how come these grandparents didn't give him anything? - BIRTHDAY BOY'S MOM
DEAR MOM: Had you not primed Junior to feel that he had a gift coming, he wouldn't feel the pain of disappointment. And if you want to protect Junior from the pain of disappointment, you would be wise to place less emphasis on gift-giving, which is apparently very important to YOU.
I suspect that your having given marked calendars to family members to "help them remember" special occasions might have been more resented than appreciated. Now would be an ideal time to teach Junior that nobody "owes" anybody a gift - so he should not expect one.
DEAR ABBY: My hand is shaking so much I can hardly write this. Last night I had a dream that was so real I thought it had actually happened. I had the wildest, most heavenly lovemaking session with a fellow I had a secret longing for in high school.
Abby, I'm 35 years old, happily married and the mother of three great kids, and I never even dated this guy who appeared in my dream. I haven't even seen him since high school and have no idea where he is. What is wrong with me?
I love my husband very much. He's the only man I have ever slept with, and it never even entered my mind to have sex with anyone else. Am I losing my mind? Why would I dream of anything so bizarre? It all seemed so natural and right in my dream. I didn't feel a bit guilty until I woke up. I probably should confess this to my priest, but I'm too embarrassed. Please help me. - ALL SHOOK UP
DEAR SHOOK: Don't feel guilty. You are not responsible for your dreams - only your actions. Thoughts of this long-forgotten high school crush have been deeply buried in your subconscious, and for some unknown reason were awakened. You've nothing to confess. Don't give it another thought.
CONFIDENTIAL TO NEEDS TO KNOW IN SHERMAN OAKS: I would be in no hurry to marry a man who absolutely refuses to take a blood test. Instead of trying to find out where couples can marry without a blood test, find out why he's so opposed to taking one.
Abby's family recipes are included in her cookbooklet. Send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)