DEAR ABBY: I need to get something off my chest. My son and his wonderful -- or so I thought -- girlfriend, just broke up. OK, she dumped him. Out of the blue, with no warning, she slept with another guy and the next day she told my son it was over.
I am devastated! This is a girl I loved. He hadn't proposed yet, but my son wanted to marry her. She was going to be my daughter-in-law, the mother of my grandchildren -- holidays, birthdays, weekends in the park, the beach, our house, their house, the whole nine yards.
Now I don't know who has cried more, me or my son. I know it's none of my business and I have to let these two kids work it out for themselves if there is anything salvageable. But Abby, I'm hurting too.
I'm so tired of people telling me I have "no right" to have an opinion about this, much less express it. I don't want to call her yet, but maybe someday I'd like to just say I'm sorry this happened. I'm disappointed and would at least like to say goodbye.
I can't believe I'm never going to see her again. If somehow, by the grace of God, they can put this back together, I will forever keep my mouth shut, but in the meantime, I'm just sitting here ... A BROKEN-HEARTED MOM
DEAR MOM: Clearly you are hurting, and I'm sorry for it. But young love can be unpredictable, and it's obvious that your son's girlfriend wasn't ready for the kind of future you have fantasized about.
If you're smart you will start thinking about this with your head rather than your heart. While what happened is extremely disappointing it could have been worse. She could have been married to your son and the mother of your grandchildren when she slept with another man and decided to bolt. Be grateful she wasn't.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a contented, widowed, retired elementary school teacher. I live in the same condo complex as my fraternal twin sister and her seventh husband. She has always been a cougar -- never satisfied with what she has. She's attractive and looks 15 years younger than her age.
For almost a year she has been pen pals with a handsome man 30 years her junior. They exchange naughty nude photos and have phone sex. She likes the fantasy, but he wants it to become reality by flying across country for a long, steamy weekend. It's inevitable that this will happen. I worry for her safety. She says she can handle it. What should I do, if anything? -- NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME
DEAR AMAZED: I can understand your concern, however, your sister is well past the age of 21. From your description of her history she has been around this block many times. She knows the territory. If I were you, I'd worry less about her safety and more about his.
DEAR ABBY: Is it appropriate to visit a house you grew up in years ago and expect to be treated to a tour? Should one expect the current owners to accept you and invite you into the house, which is now theirs? How is this handled? -- MOVED ON IN TAMPA
DEAR MOVED ON: If one is smart, one does not expect anything from strangers because it suggests a feeling of entitlement. Chances of being allowed inside would be better if the homeowner was given some advance notice, like a short note explaining that you were raised in that home and asking if you could be admitted. That's how I'd handle it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)