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Dad's secret life discovered

Dear Abby: I am a teenager who has recently discovered that my dad has been having sexually explicit conversations with women online for at least 10 years. He is usually withdrawn from the rest of the family, and I strongly suspect it's because he cares more about his online fantasies than he does about his life with my brothers, my mother and me.

I'm afraid to tell anyone in my family because of the drama it will cause, and don't want to tell him because I know it will change our relationship. Still, I don't think I can keep this to myself.

I have considered seeing a therapist, but I don't know how I can do that without giving my parents an explanation about why I'm going. What should I do?

-- Conflicted Teen in New York

Dear Conflicted: You have been exposed to a large dose of information you shouldn't have, and for that you have my sympathy. If you feel you need to discuss this with a therapist, then you definitely should.

As I see it, you have several options. The first would be to talk to a counselor at school and ask if counseling is available that way. If it isn't, then tell your father you need it, and why. And if he refuses, tell your mother everything.


Keep napkin in your lap

Dear Abby: Is it ever proper to wear your napkin tucked into your shirt collar when dining out, instead of placing it on your lap? Traditionally, a napkin is placed on the lap to prevent soiling of the clothing, I would guess. But some plus-sized folks and women with large bustlines don't usually have food reach their laps, just their shirts. So what do you think?

-- Just Wondering in New Jersey

Dear Just Wondering: Your napkin belongs in your lap when dining out, regardless of what size you are. According to Emily Post, "an exception can be made for the elderly or infirm." So if you are neither of those, consider carrying a stain remover "pen" with you.