DEAR ABBY: Many years ago you published a “Do Not Call” number for unsolicited phone calls. It worked great for a long time. I’m now starting to receive a lot of these calls again. I am elderly (88), arthritic, and I struggle getting out of my chair to answer the phone because I think it’s a family member or friend calling. Do you still have that number?
I think a lot of people would like to have it. — CARRIE IN QUINCY, MASS.
DEAR CARRIE: I went searching for the number of the Do Not Call Registry and found it in my Consumer Action Handbook, which is published by the GSA Federal Citizen Information Center. The toll-free number is 888-382-1222. I
f, after your number has been in the National Registry for three months, you continue to receive calls, you can file a formal complaint using the same toll-free number. This will stop most — but not all — telemarketing calls. Unfortunately, calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors and some organizations with which you already have a relationship are still permitted.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is having a baby. Her baby shower is being given by one of her close friends. I made it clear that I did not want to know the gender of the baby before the birth, that I’m content to enjoy the suspense.
I did not attend the “reveal” party that was held several months ago. When my shower invitation arrived, it was pink and began with “It’s A Girl!” Isn’t it rude to ignore another person’s feelings even if you think they are silly? I won’t say anything about this to my daughter because I want her to enjoy her party, but maybe this will help others who would prefer waiting for the surprise.
Am I wrong to have expected my invitation to be non-gender-specific? — GRANNY-TO-BE
DEAR GRANNY-TO-BE: Yes, I think you are wrong. In this day of sonograms and gender-reveal parties, you are in the minority with your preference to be kept in the dark. Rather than being rude, what probably happened was a person who was unaware of your preference sent your invitation as part of a batch — and pink is the theme of the party.
DEAR ABBY: My longtime 91-year-old friend is healthy but suffers from dementia. Her frequent fearful thoughts are centered around (imaginary) intruders who lurk somewhere upstairs or in the garage and are robbing her.
I try to tell her this is only in her mind, that they are not real, to no avail. What else can I say or do? Her son comes three times a week to clean her house and cook good meals for her, but he doesn’t live there. — CONCERNED FRIEND OUT WEST
DEAR CONCERNED FRIEND: Talk to her son and find out whether he knows what she has been telling you. If he has removed anything from his mother’s house, he should remind her. If he hasn’t — and nothing is missing — then his mother’s doctor should be made aware that she is anxious and fearful and may be having hallucinations, because there may be a medication that can calm her. P.S. It couldn’t hurt to check the attic for critters.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://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.)