DEAR ABBY: Next to your column in today's newspaper was an article about a coming fad. It's camouflage clothing for young children. In part, it read, "The juxtaposition of the rough and rugged with the soft babyness is what gives the look its ying-yang charm. Kids in camo are, quite simply, adorable."
As a retired 30-year veteran of law enforcement, I don't think it's adorable. I view it as a dangerous fad for children. During my many years of service in law enforcement, I participated in dozens of searches for lost children.
Abby, every year thousands of children are lost in this country. Some are found in a few hours, some in a few days, but others are never found. If you put just 2 or 3 percent of the children vacationing in the mountains, parks and wilderness areas of this and other countries in camouflage outfits, you will see even more tragedy because these lost children can't be seen. Lost children are hard enough to find when they are wearing red and orange outfits. If you dress a child in a camouflage outfit, he or she could be missed from 20 feet.
Please discourage parents from using these outfits — especially if they are traveling in the countryside or any other out-of-the-way place. — LAW ENFORCEMENT VETERAN
DEAR LAW ENFORCEMENT VETERAN: Thank you for writing, and for enclosing the newspaper article. Readers, the photo that accompanied it showed a toddler who appeared to be about 9 months old dressed in a camouflage "romper" lying on a camouflage blanket. The only part of the baby clearly visible was his head!
Parents, please use YOUR heads. As "cute" as these outfits may be, they could indeed, cause heartache if a child wearing one should wander off as many children do.
DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school and bummed out about the upcoming prom. I'm dreading who will ask me to the dance. You see, I've gotten the word that this boy, "Zack," is planning to invite me.
I don't want to go with him. His mother absolutely "loves" me. She's always talking about how smart and cute I am. Zack is not even close to a good date — especially for my senior prom. He mumbles when he talks, and people have to continually ask him to repeat what he just said. He also doesn't know how to treat a girl. He can only talk about sports, and he shows no interest in other people's interests.
Last year, when one of my best friends asked me before Zack had a chance, Zack AND his mother were upset! I want to go to my last prom — just not with him. How can I nicely refuse him if he asks me? — PROM PROBLEM
DEAR PROM PROBLEM: If you have a guy friend you'd like to attend the prom with, ask him to take you. If he agrees, then you'll have a legitimate reason for telling Zack you can't go with him, and it won't wound his ego.
However, if the guys you'd like to go with all have other dates in mind, then consider going stag or with a group and inform Zack that's what you have decided to do.
DEAR ABBY: What's the procedure for sending a memorial contribution for someone who has died? Do you put a check in the card you give to the family, or should it go directly to the charity? — JILL IN WASHINGTON
DEAR JILL: Checks should be sent directly to the designated charity, "In memory of (the deceased)." Once the charity receives the checks, the family is usually given a list of contributors' names. Include in your sympathy card or condolence note the fact that you have made the donation.