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Chicago, IL

Dear Abby 9-30-09

I think, though I could be wrong, that it had a lot to do with slave owners raping their female slaves. The resultant children were often just as "white" (looking) as any other whites (especially after generations of this), but the slave owners wanted to make it clear that these offspring were still "black" and still slaves regardless of how "white" they looked or how much "white" blood was in them.  (Sep 30, 2009 | post #41)

Chicago, IL

Dear Abby 9-30-09

"Mulatto "?? Did someone REALLY say "mulatto "?? What edition of Webster's was he looking at? 1973?  (Sep 30, 2009 | post #40)

Chicago, IL

Ask Amy 9-22

LW2: Put signs up in your neighborhood announcing a garage sale at his house. Put up a big sign in his yard saying "It's a Girl!" (do this as close to his honeymoon as possible). Have a subscription to Play Girl delivered to his house. Whenever you see him in the neighborhood, squeal really loudly, "Oh my god, is it true?!". Okay, no, not really. Disinterest really is the best revenge. But fantasies are fun too.  (Sep 22, 2009 | post #26)

Chicago, IL

Dear Abby 9-15

I was working on my master's when I met my husband. He was raised in abject poverty in Africa and his family didn't have the money to send him to anything but the free public school. Most Ghanaian children attend infant school (not free) where they learn English, since most kids grow up speaking the local languages at home. By the time they get to public school, they are expected to know English. My husband not only didn't know English, but he had to work before and after school, sometimes very early in the morning, other times until late at night, so he was exhausted during school. He only went as far as "Junior Secondary School", which is roughly the equivalent of our middle school, and he didn't do very well even at that. In short, his "formal" education was mostly a wash. He started learning English while working at the U.S. Embassy in his 20s. He was bold enough to try to talk to the American workers even with the limited words he had - most of his fellow security officers spoke better English, but were still too embarrassed to talk to the Americans. At one point he needed to talk to a certain official, but said official wasn't in at the time, so he was told to leave a note. Of course he couldn't leave a note because he couldn't write. He was horribly embarrassed and that's when he started trying to learn to read/write. By the time we met, he could write well enough to email, but sometimes understanding him was, to say the least, difficult. Also, reading and writing gave him a huge headache because he had to pour over each word. Since we've been married he's been reading children's books, newspaper articles, stuff on the internet, etc. and he's gotten to a point where he actually enjoys reading, so long as the print isn't too small and the writing level isn't too advanced. Soon he'll be re-taking his GED English tests (he passed all the others the first time around) and I'm pretty confident he'll pass this time. I used to be very much an intellectual snob - I couldn't imagine marrying someone who wasn't as educated as me. But after meeting, falling in love with, and marrying my husband, I agree with Abby's letter writers - literacy or illiteracy is not necessarily a sign of intelligence or lack thereof. My husband is incredibly smart and very good at whatever he puts his mind to, and, while he'll never be a "bookworm " like me, I couldn't be more proud.  (Sep 15, 2009 | post #32)

Chicago, IL

Amy 9-10

I totally agree with Lil Roo on LW2. A non-custodial parent should have a room for his/her child even if said child isn't there much, and it should be the kid's room (at least so long as s/he's a minor). Guests can stay in the guest room, and if they don't like it, help them find a hotel. That said, anyone notice that s/he said this happened "several years ago"? Sheesh, even though I think your father was wrong, I think it's more than high time you moved on.  (Sep 10, 2009 | post #63)

Chicago, IL

Dear Abby 9-4

Someone call 911!! Get the SWAT team!! Call Homeland Security!!! I mean, some people do little things like kidnapping little girls and keeping them locked in a backyard compound for 18 years, but you actually put ketchup on hot dogs?!?!?!  (Sep 4, 2009 | post #30)

Chicago, IL

Ask Amy 8/26/09

LW2: Was this barbecue at your house? Did you know your guest had brought chicken breasts to grill? If yes to both, why didn't you offer space in your fridge for the chicken until you were ready to grill? Problem solved.  (Aug 26, 2009 | post #30)

Chicago Tribune

Example of how to be a bad boyfriend

So the proposal/acceptance/engagement don't represent any commitment?  (Aug 5, 2009 | post #155)

Chicago Tribune

Seeking balance

You're freakin' kidding me, right? Here's a summary of the first 13 cartoons currently displayed: 1. Makes fun of Bill Clinton 2. Makes fun of Kim Jong Il 3. Makes fun of Obama and his healthcare town hall meetings 4. Makes fun of both the far right and the far left re: Obama's birthplace 5. Makes fun of Obama re: debt 6. Makes fun of Congress - should be traded in as "clunkers " 7. Makes fun of Republican position on healthcare 8. Makes fun of Obama's inability to pass healthcare reform 9. Makes fun of Obama's ratings 10. Makes fun of Congress delaying and not reading healthcare bill 11. Makes fun of Geithner/Obama promise not to raise middle class taxes 12. Makes fun of Harry Reid 13. Makes fun of Obama's healthcare plan - it's a "clunker ". So by my count that makes for 8 cartoons that are clearly making fun of Democrats, 1 making fun of Republicans, and the rest are either neutral or balanced. Yeah, poor, poor Republicans, always picked on. Please, you're going to make me cry.  (Aug 5, 2009 | post #1)

Chicago Tribune

Example of how to be a bad boyfriend

Unfortunately it doesn't. It has a lot of defenders.  (Aug 5, 2009 | post #134)

Chicago Tribune

Grasping abortion debate

Right, because only poor black women get abortions. BTW, how much of an idiot are you? Obama's mother was not black. But thanks for showing us how wrong Obama is when he says that race is still an issue.  (Aug 5, 2009 | post #4)

Chicago Tribune

Example of how to be a bad boyfriend

Research has actually demonstrated that yelling has negative physical and physiological effects on both the yeller and the yellee - increased heartrate, respiration, sweating, etc. - similar to (although less severe than) other trauma producing situations such as hearing a gun shot. Over time these negative reactions build up and the cumulative effect can be worse than a single episode of a more severe trauma. People in environments where yelling is the norm tend to suffer from more headaches, digestive issues, sleep disorders, hypertension, etc. Just because a person can become habituated to yelling and accept it as normal doesn't mean it isn't harmful.  (Aug 5, 2009 | post #70)

Chicago Tribune

Example of how to be a bad boyfriend

It may seem like that's what happens, but really it's not. When one person is loud the other person may become intimidated and just give in to quiet the confrontation. Or else the other person just sees that you can't be reasoned with and they give up. Either way, it doesn't mean your point has gotten across. If you really want to get a point across, lower your voice.  (Aug 5, 2009 | post #48)

Chicago Tribune

Women stick together against cheating lover

OMG, even with spaces it doesn't go through, but "penis" is just fine. Let's try again: "v.a.g.i.n.a "  (Aug 4, 2009 | post #250)

Chicago Tribune

Women stick together against cheating lover

I agree completely - that's probably the saddest part of this whole story. What's also interesting is that Topix allows the word "penis" but not the word " **** ".  (Aug 4, 2009 | post #249)