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WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR?

Dear Ann Landers: I was saddened by your response to "Modest in Modesto," whose friend allowed her young daughters to run around the house undressed when company was present. Don't you find it ironic that we teach our children to think their bodies are shameful, but we allow them to see kicking, punching, shootings and stabbings dozens of times a day on TV? And then we wonder why kids shoot each other.

I would prefer to live in a society where everyone is treated with love and respect and feels embarrassed or shocked at violence. Naked children do not hurt anyone. Doesn't it make sense to save our shock and outrage for the things that actually harm society?

-- P.H., Spokane, Wash.
Dear Spokane: You have made a valid point. However, those very young children who were running around naked in front of adult company should be made aware that this is not acceptable behavior. Child predators are sometimes individuals you would never suspect. Young children should be taught to keep themselves covered just in case there's a "funny uncle" around -- and I can tell you, there are more of them than you think.

It can't happen

Dear Ann Landers: I have an aunt who is now 86 years of age, taught school for 40-plus years and was always considered the brightest member of the family. A few days ago, she phoned and sounded fine until she said, "I think I had better hang up, dear. I have a bad cold, and I don't want you to catch it."

I thought perhaps I hadn't heard what she said because it didn't make any sense to me, so I asked her to repeat her comment. Sure enough, she told me we should not be talking on the phone because she had a bad cold and didn't want to give it to me.

Ann, is it possible to get a cold from talking on the phone to a person who has one? I am too embarrassed about my ignorance to ask anyone. Please respond in the paper.

-- Greensboro, N.C.
Dear Greensboro: Most people get colds from someone who has a cold, but it must be through personal contact, not over the phone. Don't blame AT&T or Ameritech. They take enough heat from their customers.

As for your aunt, please give her a pass, too. At 86, she is entitled to some extra consideration.

A novel idea

Dear Ann Landers: I would like to tell you about something wonderful that happened to me last week.

My daughter and her husband are expecting their first child (my first grandchild) next month. The thoughtful and terrific people I work with decided to surprise me with a "grandma shower." They all bought things I would need at my house when the grandchild comes to visit. There were diapers, bottles, baby spoons, bibs, blankets and even a car seat, so I would be able to take the baby in my car.

I had never heard of a grandma shower, but mine was a huge success, and needless to say, I was grateful and delighted. I thought some of your readers might want to try it.

-- Grandma in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dear St. Pete Reader: A grandmother's shower? What a splendid idea! I've never heard of it either, and I'll bet it's new to most of my readers, as well. I'm sure many new moms and grandmothers in my reading audience will applaud your suggestion. Thank you on behalf of all of them.

Problems? Dump on Ann. Write her at The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.

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