DEAR ABBY: Lately I have been having problems with my live-in boyfriend, "Ethan." We fight about everything, and he refuses to admit when he's wrong. Ethan has been sleeping on the couch for a week waiting for me to take the first step and reconcile.
He isn't working and I am, and that is probably what has him so mad. I pay all the bills, and he thinks I feel superior because I'm bringing in money and he's not.
Do you think it's a good idea for us to have a baby? Ethan is desperate for a child with me - even though we can't get along.
- Mary Jane in Massachusetts
DEAR MARY JANE: Not only do I think it's not a good idea, but I think it's a terrible idea. Babies are expensive, and you're already carrying a heavy load. I suspect that Ethan thinks a baby will fix what's wrong in your relationship, but he's wrong. Don't do it! It would be a huge mistake.
DEAR ABBY: In summer 1995, I was 12 living in a motel in a suburb of Cleveland with my mother, older brother and younger sister. We were poor and very hungry.
My mother led my younger sister and me to a doughnut shop for our only meal of the day. After waiting for everyone to leave, my mother approached the counter and asked to pay with our foreign coins, the only money we had.
Instead of turning us away, the woman at the counter told my mother: "We're allowed to give away a certain number of free doughnuts every day. Just tell me what you want."
If that kind woman is reading this, I want to say: "Thank you. You made the hunger go away for just a little bit, so a mother and her children could go a day without pain. You remain forever in a little girl's heart."
- Ursala in Messina, Italy
DEAR URSALA: I, too, hope your benefactor sees your letter. Her generosity that day provided nourishment not only for your bodies, but also for your faith in the humanity of others - and I am sure you have emulated her example in the years that have followed. After all, isn't that what acts of kindness are all about?