Dear Ann Landers: I recently learned that our 20-year-old daughter, a beautiful and talented college student, is currently in a lesbian relationship. I am heartbroken and shocked by this. If her father finds out, it will kill him.
I am hoping and praying that this relationship will not last and that she will straighten out and get married. I love my daughter, but if she is truly a lesbian, it will be hard for me to love her as I did before. Can you help me?
-- A Suffering Mother in the Southwest
Dear Southwest Mother: If your daughter is a lesbian, be aware this is not something she chose. She was born to be attracted to members of her own sex. It's the way she is emotionally "wired." I urge you to accept her partner with grace and hope other family members will, also.
You can find help and information by contacting: PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), 1726 M Street, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036 (www.pflag.org). They're a wonderful organization.
Baby comes first
Dear Ann Landers: Noah and I were married last year, and we now have a beautiful son. I'm not the best housekeeper in the world because the baby keeps me very busy. Last week, Noah and I had a big fight about my "lousy housekeeping." I told Noah I was not going to short-change the baby so the house would be spotless. I also said it would help if he hung up his clothes once in a while.
I offered to go back to work, put the baby in daycare and hire a cleaning woman. Noah turned purple with rage. Tell me, Ann, should I go back to work or get a divorce?
-- Need Help in Oklahoma
Dear Okla.: Neither. Not all women are capable of keeping a house spotless, especially if their husbands refuse to help out. If you can afford it, hire a cleaning woman to come in once a week. If you don't have that kind of money, tell Noah he needs to pitch in more often.
P.S. Your child will not suffer if you spend some of your time washing the dishes and picking up the toys. As he gets a bit older, he can be taught to help. Someday his wife will bless you for it.
Tips can save a life
Dear Ann Landers: As a fair-skinned redhead living in a sunny climate, I have been well aware of the danger of melanoma. I always had a dermatologist check and remove any suspicious spots. I was stunned when my wife noticed a large purplish-blue "birthmark" hidden in my hair behind my ear. Within days, a biopsy confirmed a Stage 3 melanoma. My thick head of hair had not protected me from the sun's damage, it only served to camouflage the growing malignancy. My hairdresser, the only person to notice, said nothing because she "didn't see any change." I had it removed immediately. It's been six years now, and so far, I've been very lucky.
Melanoma can turn up anywhere. Advise your readers to have someone check the areas they cannot see themselves, especially the scalp and the back of the head. Please urge hairdressers and barbers to alert their customers to new or suspicious skin lesions or any discoloration observed in the course of their work. The physician can't check if the patient doesn't know about it. An early warning might save a life.
-- W. Palm Beach Reader
Dear W. Palm Beach: Every now and then, someone writes about something that may appear to be trivial, but it could save lives. Yours is such a letter. Excessive exposure to the sun can be a killer. Thanks for sitting in my chair today.