KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR | Annie's Mailbox Same name doesn't cause puppy love
Dear Annie: My married daughter recently bought a puppy and named it "Susie." Susie happens to be my name.
I don't like animals, and my daughter knows it. I certainly don't want to have the same name as her dog. When I told her about my feelings, she told me she can call the dog whatever she wants and I should learn to deal with it.
I think my daughter did this on purpose. Shouldn't she change the name of this puppy to something else? I think it's extremely rude to go against my wishes on this. What do you think? Virginia Susie
Dear Susie: How is your relationship with your daughter? It sounds a bit frayed around the edges. It's possible your daughter named the dog after you as a sign of affection, but it seems doubtful considering your reaction. It's more likely she is trying to say something a lot less complimentary. You can't make her change the dog's name, so stop trying. Fix the relationship, and the name will be unimportant. (And if the dog has a sweet disposition, your daughter may think more warmly of you.)
Dear Annie: I read the letter about "Linda," who found out who her birth mother was, but the woman did not want to have any contact. I'm so tired of hearing about the "right to privacy" for women who decide to give up children for adoption.
I, too, am adopted. I spent 36 years of my life looking at a mirror to check my hands, my face and my smile, and wondering where I got them. "Linda" absolutely should have the right to see her birth mother, even if only one time. In most cases, that is all adopted people want -- just a short look at their own genetic history. When I located my birth parents, my biological mother's family accepted me with open arms. My birth father agreed to meet me only once, but that was sufficient.
Here is a plea to all birth mothers and fathers who have given up a child for adoption: Please give us the common courtesy to meet you one time. We do not want your money or to become a member of your family. We just want a short chat, some medical history and perhaps a picture. Remember, you are the reason we are here on this earth. Thanks for listening, Annie. Pat in North Dakota
Dear Pat: It would be great if all adopted children who searched for their biological parents found kindhearted folks willing to accept them. That is not always the case. It is also true that some adopted children do expect to gain a new family and are disappointed when the biological parent does not want a closer relationship.
To those biological parents who are reluctant to meet the offspring, please consider sending some family photographs along with a medical history.
Dear Annie: After being on the waiting list for the past semester, I recently moved into the dorms at my college. I am usually a very bubbly and outgoing person, but for some reason, I can't seem to make any friends here. Instead of going out, I lock myself in my room with the excuse that I have too much homework to socialize. Can you help me? Lonely in New Hampshire
Dear Lonely: Every college has extracurricular activities -- musical groups, intramural sports teams, political clubs, and so on. Join one. Make a point of saying hello to someone in line at the cafeteria or sitting next to you in class. You will never have a better opportunity to meet people your own age, but you have to put some effort into it. If none of this works, talk to one of the counselors at school for help. Your desire to isolate yourself indicates that you may be suffering from depression.
XE-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, Ill. 60611.