DEAR ABBY: I'm a stay-at-home mom with three children - all in school. We recently had security cameras installed around our house. However, my husband has taken to using them to monitor everything I do throughout the day. He will say things like, "What took so long to go to the dry cleaner?" or, "Why did you go outside at 11 a.m.?" I feel like a prisoner in my home! What should I do?
- NO PRIVACY IN THE EAST
DEAR NO PRIVACY: What your husband is doing is controlling and, frankly, creepy. This is what insecure abusers do to their significant others. Tell him you do not have to account to him for every minute of your day, and that he should be doing more important things with his time than monitoring you. And then INSIST the two of you get counseling. Do it NOW.
A vaccine for guest?
DEAR ABBY: I'm a healthy 30-year-old woman living in Los Angeles. A close friend just had a baby. I'm planning to visit her, but she is demanding that before I do I get vaccinated (the Tdap). I didn't think much of it, but another friend thinks that's a tall order. She says why can't I just wash my hands and use hand sanitizer like everyone else? Do you think this is an appropriate request, or is my other friend overreacting?
- Old school
DEAR OLD SCHOOL: The Tdap vaccine is important because it protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). It is usually given only once in a person's lifetime, with booster shots every 10 years. Unless otherwise indicated by a health care professional, everyone over the age of 19 who has never received this vaccine should have it.
Yes, I do think the mother's request is appropriate, and your other friend is overreacting. If you prefer not to do it, you always have the option of waiting to visit until after the baby begins the DTaP series of vaccinations.
DEAR ABBY: A boy (also a junior in high school) asked me to a school dance a couple of weeks ago. He's kind, funny, does great in school. I really like him, and I think he likes me, but since the dance, nothing has happened! The problem, I think, is that he is Mormon. I am fine with his religion. I am Jewish and not very religious, but I'm not planning to convert. We have talked about this together, and I'm afraid that his parents and/or religion won't permit him to have a relationship with me. What are the rules about dating when you are Mormon?
- Don't know in Texas
DEAR DON'T KNOW: I'm not an expert on the Mormon religion, so I took your question to my "Mormon connection," Allen Bergin, Ph.D. After I read him your letter, he asked me to assure you that the boy is just shy. Be patient, and you'll probably hear from him around the time of the next dance.
An Irish toast
TO MY IRISH READERS: Happy St. Patrick's Day.
May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.