Dear Abby: I am sick to death of hearing about people who have too many kids and the hardship it imposes. Common sense for the women is to use birth control, but why don’t men step up to the plate and have a vasectomy? I had one years ago and it has worked well for me.

I never hear it mentioned on talk shows or read it in any advice columns, including yours.

– Joseph in Las Vegas

Dear Joseph: I’m sure the word “vasectomy” has been used in previous Dear Abby columns, but I’m glad to remind my male readers. While I have never taken a poll on this subject, I’ll hazard a guess or two about why men are reluctant to have them:

One, they equate it with castration; two, they think at some point they might change their mind or their partner; and three, they’re afraid it will be painful. Drumroll: For any men out there who are worried that some tragedy might wipe out your family and you will have to start over, sperm can be banked for up to 20 years and used should the need arise.

P.S. There are also more options open to women than the pill. These include IUDs and, if they’re sure they want to be finished with childbearing, tubal ligation.

Sloppy sleeping styles

Dear Abby: I raised three kids in a normal household, putting them to bed between two sheets. Now my two younger ones no longer sleep between sheets, but wrapped up in a blanket on a sheetless mattress. One of them has children, and is passing the habit on to them. The only thing I can conclude is that it’s laziness, and I’m wondering where I went wrong. Has anyone else encountered this?

– Taken Aback in Missouri

Dear Taken Aback: People have varying sleep “styles.” If, when your children lived with you, you taught them to launder their sheets and make their beds, then you didn’t go wrong. (One can only hope they wash those blankets regularly.)

If possible, invite your grandchildren for sleepovers so they can experience how the “other half” lives. You would be doing them a favor because children can’t learn what a parent hasn’t taught them.

Surprise visits

Dear Abby: What does one say to casual acquaintances who stop by uninvited and with no prior phone call?

Nancy in Aurora, Colo.

Dear Nancy: Let me tell you first what one DOESN’T say. It’s “Come in!” It is perfectly acceptable to explain that the person caught you in the middle of your housework or a project you need to finish and, please, in the future to call before dropping by so you can make some plans together.