Dear Ann: I saw something yesterday that disturbed me enough to write to you and warn your readers.
I was returning to my car after buying groceries. In the back seat of the car next to mine were two sweet little boys, no more than 6 years old. These boys had been left completely alone in the car, in a busy parking lot of a large shopping center. The windows of the car were down, and the doors were unlocked.
The boys kept getting in and out of the car, and could easily have been hit by another vehicle. Moreover, any predator could have come by and snatched them without any difficulty whatsoever. I quickly wrote an anonymous note mentioning these points, and asked the boys if I could put it on the front seat. They said, "Daddy will be back right away."
Now, I am kicking myself for not reporting this to the police. Please remind all of your readers that no matter how inconvenient or difficult it is to shop with young children, one should NEVER leave them in a car unattended. It takes just one moment for a tragedy to occur, and I'm sure "Daddy" would never forgive himself. Concerned Parent in Yorba Linda, Calif.
Dear Yorba Linda: You have written a letter that should get the attention of every parent who reads this column. Your message is a vital one. Every parent who sees this should ask himself or herself, "Could the writer be talking to me?" If the answer is yes, for heaven's sake, vow never again to leave your children unattended in a car. Remember, they are your most precious possessions.
Dear Ann: I have a dear friend who is highly intelligent, warmhearted and has a great many fine qualities. "Samantha" used to be a size 5, but is now a size 14. The problem is she still squeezes her ample body into size 8 dresses and slacks, and she looks like a sausage pushing out of its casing.
I have tried to talk to her about this in a tactful way, but she says in her head she will never be larger than a size 8, and that it gives her peace of mind to think this way. Her appearance is hurting her professionally (she's the talk of the office because everything she wears is so tight), and it is also hurting her personally. Men get the idea she is "easy," if you catch my drift.
Samantha has so much going for her, I hate to see her coming off like this. Her self-esteem is extremely fragile, and I know she doesn't like her body. I don't understand why she can't see herself the way others do. Is there anything I can say that will help without hurting her? Prudent in Pennsylvania.
Dear Prudy: Probably not, so I suggest that you clip this column and tell her you wrote the letter. If you cannot bring yourself to confront her directly, mail the column to her anonymously. It is a long shot, and may not work, but it's worth taking a chance. She needs to see it.
Dear Ann: I found this in a 1956 edition of the Fall River, Mass., Herald News. I thought you might use it for your Gem of the Day.
Teeth is very nice to have,
They fills you with content.
And if you doesn't know it now,
You will when they have went. Bryan in Warren, R.I.
Dear Bryan: Your English teacher will not be pleased with your "contribution," but your dentist will love it. Thanks a bunch.