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Dear Abby: My husband and I are both Caucasian. Recently, we adopted a beautiful mixed-race baby girl. She’s Vietnamese, African-American and Hispanic. She is not even 4 months old, and already we have experienced some negative comments from strangers.

Where we live is progressive and open-minded, and I’m not so much concerned about our neighborhood or schools. But I’m no dummy. I know we’re going to encounter people who have “questions” or unwarranted “opinions” (to put it nicely).

I’m not trying to educate those who choose to remain ignorant, nor reason with the unreasonable, or even explain our family and our choices. I just want a quick, witty response that tells people their not-so-nice comments are unwelcome and, to put it frankly, back off. Any suggestion?

Open-Minded in

Pennsylvania

Dear Open-minded: According to the 2010 census, 9 million Americans (2.9 percent of the population) are multiracial. It also showed that the number of people who reported multiple races grew by a larger percentage than those reporting a single race.

Frankly, I don’t think you should say anything “witty” to a bigot. Just smile and say, “It’s the wave of the future. Get used to it.”

Dear Abby: For the past year I have been with a man I love dearly. We live together and share our lives as independent young adults.

The problem is his mother. She was cold and distant to him when he was a child, and her emotional abuse has continued into his adulthood. Holidays are a nightmare, visits a chore, and his phone calls with her often leave him in tears.

I wanted him to come with me to spend the holidays with my family, but she guilted him into spending them with her. I hate seeing him go through this, and I don’t know what I can do about it. I think she is a toxic influence and he needs to cut her out of his life altogether. Advice?

Protecting My Guy

Dear Protecting: What you think about his mother isn’t as important as what your boyfriend does. From your description, their relationship is unhealthy. My advice is to encourage your boyfriend to discuss this with a licensed mental health professional. If he does, it may give him the incentive he needs to distance himself from her.

P.S. When the next family holidays come around, by all means invite him to spend them with your family. That way he will have a chance to see how a normal family functions.

Dear Abby: When my in-laws come for dinner, they ask what they can bring. I always say “absolutely nothing,” but they bring dessert or a bottle of wine, and then take the uneaten dessert or uncorked bottles of wine home with them. What’s the rule of etiquette when someone brings items to a party?

Wondering in Florida

Dear Wondering: When guests bring something to their hostess — a bottle of wine or dessert — it is considered a gift. For guests to commandeer the leftovers without them having been offered is poor manners.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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