Q: My husband and I have been together for 10 years, married for five. We have an 8-year-old daughter. Yes, the math is clear: She was a “love child.” My family is religious, and although I was 22 at the time of my pregnancy, they announced that I would not be having a baby shower because I had conceived in sin and it wouldn’t look right.
My sister and her husband of five years recently announced that she is pregnant, and I am expected to attend showers and parties for her. Am I wrong for not wanting to go? I’ll gladly send a gift and be there when the baby is born, but I’d prefer to avoid having to attend any social function where I am shamed for living differently. Her friends are so judgmental that if they suspect you smoke, drink or curse, they roll their eyes and go out of their way to avoid you. — Shamed in Delaware
Q: Two teenage boys who live on our block frequently ride their skateboards in the street. They wear no protective padding or helmets and pay no attention to their surroundings. They stay out at all hours in the summer, come flying into the street and swerve over both lanes of traffic. I have seen cars narrowly avoid hitting them many times, and I hear cars honking at them and drivers shouting.
Their parents don’t seem to care. They also let their dogs run loose around the neighborhood and into the street, and often back out of their driveway without looking. I know I’ll get nowhere speaking to them.
I’m terrified that I’ll hit one of the boys with my car. I have come close twice and got dirty looks from them both times. I warn my visitors to watch out for them. I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before something awful happens, and I don’t want to go to jail or live with a lifetime of guilt because of their irresponsible behavior. Any ideas? — Nervous in New England