Originally created 11/08/97

Defends `teen bride' against critics



Re Tina Slendak's questions and comments about Wendy Grossman's Oct. 21 article (letter, Oct. 25):

I was upset about the way Ms. Slendak asked her questions.

Yes, teen-age bride Wendy Ottolino states she wants to earn her GED. I think we should at least grant her that much, that she intends to get her GED. Also, concerning the criticism about her sitting home all day, that Ms. Ottolino used to work and she should now -- she is still a 16-year-old young lady. She may have no transportation in this new area and maybe no family. If someone out there would offer to lend a hand and not just give advice ... it would be a little easier on children and young teen-agers nowadays.

Also, I don't believe Ms. Ottolino should have to explain how much clothes she washes or how these clothes get dirty.

It really upsets me to see that there are people like Ms. Slendak who have something to say about the pawning of the stereo or "wasting" money on Christmas cards. How do you know the cards weren't given, no one said anything about stamps? Who are we to judge this young woman? What she does is her business. Not all children are born and grow up with silver spoons in their mouths.

I do agree with Ms. Slendak that Ms. Ottolino should wait to have a baby; she is still a young girl herself. ... Nowadays there are people who are older and, after years of marriage, going through the same turmoil. But they just don't come out with it. ...

We should keep in mind that Ms. Ottolino is 16 years old and has been through more in her short life than most adults. If you never had an abusive life or a rough life you may have all these questions and apparent answers, but you have to walk in Wendy's shoes to know what her life is like. ... There should be no one out there questioning Ms. Ottolino unless they are willing to take a personal stand in helping her. I certainly hope this couple will make it. With God all things are possible ... Although I don't know Ms. Ottolino personally, I want her to know she has a friend. ...

Germaine Chouest, Augusta