My niece has a 1-year-old son. Neither my niece nor the baby's father is religious, and they have chosen not to have the baby baptized.
My sister, the baby's grandmother, while not wanting to impose her beliefs on the parents, comes from a generation in which even couples who were not demonstrably religious usually had their baby baptized.
I know it would comfort my sister to know that this ancient ceremony had been performed. Since my sister watches the little boy at her house, would it be wrong for us to organize an informal baptism - just holy water and a couple of prayers? We don't feel we need to have an officiant of any religion present, and, of course, we would not tell the baby's parents. Would this be appropriate?
- Mortified in Montana
DEAR MORTIFIED: No, it would not. If you were sure that it would be, you wouldn't have written to me about it. My advice is not to do anything like this behind the parents' backs, because if you do, there will be hell to pay. Consider this: Not all denominations baptize their members as infants.
Please post my message for people to be more considerate and nonjudgmental about their "help." I am a housekeeper by choice. I have office skills, massage therapy skills, and many talents, but I have noticed that clients seem to have a preconceived idea of who I am.
I am not someone who is money-driven. I am also not uneducated. I am a person who enjoys helping others, no matter what I may be doing. What I do for a living is not who I am.
I have been treated disrespectfully. People who have housekeepers, beware. We just might be doing a sociological study on how people treat the help. Wasn't there a movie about that? Be kind to each other, people.
- The Help
DEAR HELP: What you have experienced isn't a problem only for housekeepers. It is something that many service-industry workers encounter all too often. Perhaps it happens because some people were never taught that inside the uniform is a person with real feelings and that everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
After a year together, my boyfriend recently proposed. We plan to marry in two years. During this time, he intends to move into my home so we can save for the wedding. My parents, however, are completely against our living together before we get married.
Abby, I'm 30 years old, and so is my fiance. I own my own home, and my boyfriend currently rents. My parents are very traditional and may not help with the wedding if we move in together. We can't afford to pay for much if we don't do it and save. On top of that, we are excited to start our lives together.
Do I honor my parents' wishes or do what I feel is right for me and my fiance?
- Rock and a Hard Place