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Dear Abby: ‘Do Not Call’ helpful, but not airtight

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 88 and 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 General Services Administration’s Federal Citizen Information Center. The toll-free number is 888-382-1222.

If, 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 telemarketing calls. Unfortunately, calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors and some organizations with which you already have a relationship are still permitted.

Out of step on gender ‘reveal’

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?

Am I wrong to have expected my invitation to be nongender-specific?

– Granny-to-Be

Dear Granny-to-Be: Yes, I think you are wrong.

In this day of 3-D 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.

Miffed about no email reply

Dear Abby: The subject is email, which is how so many of us communicate nowadays. When one gets an email from a friend or relative, it seems to me only common courtesy in most cases to acknowledge it with a response, if only to say thanks. The reply need not be immediate, but there should be one, I think. Many people just don’t reply. What do you think?

– Tom in Palo Alto, Calif.

Dear Tom: I think some people may be too busy to respond, particularly if the communication doesn’t seem important or contain a question.