Advicereality check

Reality Check

I have a friend who had a kid at the same time that I did. She is a single mom, for reasons that are not worth going into, and I have a husband. Our kids have grown together, and now that they are in school, ugly personality traits are starting to come out. My kid is good at sports, but he is not the strongest reader. We read to him all the time, and we go to the library and the bookstore, and it is important to me that he is engaged in school. We all want our kids to be smart, right?

So, this friend of mine, her kid is not great at sports. He plays, and they play together, but my kid is naturally a better athlete. It doesn’t matter to the kids. They have fun. My kid seems like he is aware of it sometimes, and he takes it easy. Maybe I am projecting that. I don’t know. In any case, this friend of mine is obviously trying to make up for the fact that her kid isn’t the best athlete by talking about how smart he is all the time. Not a visit goes by where she doesn’t talk about what grade level he is reading at, quizzing him on big words, and making me feel like my kid is inadequate. I never talk about how much better my kid is at sports. In fact, I try not to talk about sports at all.

I am not sure how to respond to this, but I am starting to get really irritated. I have even found myself avoiding her calls, and I feel bad because I know our kids like playing together. How can I talk to her about this?


Maybe being direct is the best way? Like, when she starts talking about the grade level he’s reading at, you could say, “Yeah, [your child’s name] isn’t the best reader, but he really likes books. We try not to make a competition out of it because we don’t want him to feel bad.†If she doesn’t take the hint, then just tell her how you feel. She obviously worries about how her kid is perceived, and without a father in the house she may be worried that she isn’t doing enough. I know she is irritating you, but try to have sympathy for her situation and see if you can’t get her to back off a little.

I am a 30-year-old married woman. I live in a rural area and was recently laid off, so I don’t have health insurance. I went to the local clinic for my annual gynecological exam last week, and when I requested an IUD, I was told by the doctor there that she wouldn’t give me one because I “haven’t had babies yet.†Because of the circumstances, I felt embarrassed and even (I hate to admit it) ashamed, and I immediately dropped the subject. I do not want and have never wanted children, and even if I did this would be a terrible time to have them. Now I don’t know what to do, because I can’t go back there, I can’t take birth control pills because of my other medical issues, and I am afraid to have sex with my husband because I don’t want to get pregnant. I need help now.

In the Sticks

Yikes. That’s quite a response from a medical professional. Planned Parenthood works on a sliding scale, and since they are a nonprofit, you can make interest-free payments for as long as you need to. Go to to find the nearest location and give them a call.

Thank you for chiming in on the “birth control issue.â€Â  I am a registered nurse who works in public health.  The issue I have with birth control is that not enough people reliably use it.  This is technology that humans have figured out, if not perfected.  Birth control is generally safe, very effective and can be inexpensive (particularly here at the Health Department).  If young people are going to have sex, which they very clearly are, they need to protected from outcomes they are not prepared to handle including unplanned pregnancy. 
Being called derogatory names or having their morals and ethics questioned by old white dudes (not all politicians are, but most) is not helpful and is not going to stop anyone from having sex (although just thinking about Rick Santorum would definitely kill my libido.  Perhaps he should consider adding that exercise to his whole abstinence pipe dream).
The fact is, that in this day and age, every person has the right to decide whether they want to have sex and whether or not they would like to become parents.  We should celebrate this freedom and provide education so people can make good decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.  It breaks my heart to have teen girls come in after they have already gotten pregnant.  In my experience, the top two reasons young girls do not come to get birth control when they are already having sex are embarrassment and cost.  The jackasses in Washington have not had an effect on their behavior but they have definitely hurt their pride, as well as their feelings.  Your encouragement will hopefully get some more people into our clinic to learn about their options before some idiot tries to limit them or take them away.

Thanks again,

Public Health R.N.

Thanks for the letter, PHRN. Obviously, you don’t work at the above mentioned clinic. It’s nice to hear from a professional in the field, and I hope that when people see your letter they will realize that there is a lot of support and information available to them.

Damn, people. I don’t wanna keep getting all political on you but what the hell? If you haven’t read it yet, the text for HB 954 can be found here: It criminalizes abortion after 20 weeks, it doesn’t provide exemptions in cases of rape or incest or mental illness, and despite certain politicians claiming that they are for “smaller government,†it helps the government charge straight into the doctor’s office to tell pregnant women what’s best for them. The only Rep from Athens who voted against it is Keith Heard. You can thank him here:

These guys all voted for the bill:

Bill Cowsert

Frank Ginn

Chuck Williams

Doug McKillip (Though a former Democrat, McKillip actually sponsored this bill; so consider voting for his opponent Regina Quick in the July 31 primary.)

P.S. They are also up for reelection this year.