Sunday, May 1, 2011
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Dear Annie: My daughter will soon be 16. Her father and I never married. When my ex discovered I was pregnant, he threatened to take the baby away and never let me see her. So I left him when I was six months along.
My mother filled out the birth certificate. Since she never liked my ex-boyfriend, she made no reference to him and put down my name only.
I tried to contact my ex after our daughter was born and got his mother instead. She told me no one believed her son was the father, and she would not help me get in touch with him. She also refused to give me any family medical history.
I recently found out that my ex passed away a few years ago. He was only 37. I do not know the cause of death and worry that my daughter has inherited something fatal. How can I get a copy of the death certificate? His family refuses to answer my calls.
Mom of a Mystery Daughter
Dear Mom: In many states, records of deaths are public and should be available through the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where the person died. If you encounter difficulty, you should talk to an attorney.
Dear Annie: I need your help with a sticky situation. Every year, we vacation at a resort where we have become friends with another couple who are there the same week. While it’s nice to have another couple to do things with, the problem is, they expect us to spend every minute together. They never plan anything for themselves. We travel a lot and have many friends at different resorts who do not do this. How should we handle it?
Dear Traveler: Unless you want to change the week of your visit, you’ll need to be diplomatic. Suggest that each of you spend some time pursuing your own interests and meet up for dinner. Also, make some arrangements in advance and inform your friends that you already have plans, but you’d love to join them later. .
Dear Annie: Your advice to “Loving Auntie,” whose nephew corrected the adults’ grammar, was wrong. These kids are learning proper grammar in school and then hearing it spoken improperly by adults.
If the boy was correcting his aunt’s grammar and being rude, the parents should correct the attitude, not the reason. He’s a smart 10-year-old who heard something wrong and corrected it. The aunt’s bruised ego is the problem.
Mother of Another Smart Boy
Dear Mother: Please don’t be one of those parents who thinks her brilliant children are entitled to say what they want as long as they are right. If your son has a question about an adult’s grammar, he should come to you. You can then let him know whether his correction is right, and then say that you will handle it, explaining that adults find it disrespectful when children tell them how to speak properly.
E-mail your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.