DR. WALLACE: I'd like to respond to the girl who asked you the question, "Are all guys jerks?" She felt that they were. I agree with her.
From my experience, all men are jerks. This includes my father, who mistreated his wife (our mother), my two brothers (who both batter their wives), my son (who treats his girlfriend like dirt) and my husband (who is a military officer but is no gentleman and considers me a sack of trash). Sooner or later, every man on earth will break the heart of his mate. — Anonymous, via email
ANONYMOUS: Some guys are "jerks," and some are considered worse than "jerks." To say all guys are "jerks" is far from true. Mother nature gave males more physical strength, and some "jerks" use it to punish weaker humans, both female and male — and sometimes, unfortunately, even defenseless children. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Even some females are "jerks"; no human is perfect. All of us do things we regret, but most of us apologize quickly, improve and live "jerk-free" lives. There are millions of men and women who live very harmonious lives with those around them. I'm sorry to hear that your experiences to date with the men in your life have not been pleasant.
HUGE PARENTAL MISTAKE
DR. WALLACE: I'm mad as heck at my mother and the man I thought was my biological father. I'm 18 and will be in college. I just found out that my mother was an unwed mother and married the man I've called "Dad" my whole life when I was only 7 months old. Actually, my younger brother is only my half-brother. I found all this out when rummaging through the family's "important papers" boxes while looking for my birth certificate. It was there that I found my mom's marriage license. When I confronted my mom and my "stepfather," I was told to cool it when I asked who my biological father really was. Dr. Wallace, I want to know who my real father is for several reasons. I would like to know who he is in case I have a medical problem and he could potentially help me. I also would like to bring this man into my life. I am demanding that his identity be revealed to me. Am I being unfair to my mom and stepfather by wanting this information? — Anonymous, Portland, Oregon
ANONYMOUS: It's important to you to find out as much information as possible regarding your birth father. That doesn't mean that you love your mother and stepfather any less. But keeping you in the dark was a huge parental mistake. I wholeheartedly suggest that your parents (especially Mom) sit you down and tell you the story about your biological father. From there, if you choose to reach out and try to contact him, that is be'TWEEN you and your father, not be'TWEEN you and mother and/or stepfather. Please remain calm and speak respectfully to your parents at home with you now. This is a sensitive issue for all involved, but you absolutely do deserve to know the truth. Good luck.
DR. WALLACE: Please settle this friendly family feud by answering this question. When it comes to one's height, what is the prime determining factor — proper nutrition and exercise, or heredity?
My sister is short, and so is her husband. They argue that, when they have children, the children will be taller than they are because they will load them up with nutritional food and vitamins.
I say that it doesn't make any difference how nutritious the food is or the amount of vitamin C that one takes. Chances are great that the children will be short. Who is right? — Curious, via email
CURIOUS: Every generation tends to produce children taller than the previous generation, and those in the know don't credit a healthy diet and lifestyle. Rather, the No. 1 determining factor in height — heredity. It is highly improbable that two short parents can produce a very tall child. Note that I didn't say impossible; I said improbable. Much depends upon the gene pool going back a few generations on both sides of a family. And, for the record, I do approve of the healthy nutrition and exercise! This is a smaller factor but can incrementally increase height a bit.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.