Dear Abby: Recently, my father has begun to watch films with graphic sexual scenes when he gets home from work. When I ask him to please watch them on his own time, when my three younger siblings aren’t in the house, he tells me that because he pays the bills, he has the right to do what he wants.
Not only do these graphic movies make me uncomfortable, but I’m worried my siblings will begin asking questions.
– Uncomfortable in Oregon
Dear Uncomfortable: If there are adult relatives who can convince your dad that what he’s doing is unwise – an aunt, uncle, grandparent – talk with them about what’s going on right away.
If there aren’t, then a trusted teacher or counselor at school should be informed because what your father is doing is extremely inappropriate. Exposing children to graphic images can give them unrealistic expectations about what sex is really all about.
Do-over for wedding dress?
Dear Abby: My girlfriend and I have talked about becoming engaged. The subject of the wedding dress came up. She broke off a past engagement last year, and she has asked me whether it would be all right for her to use the dress she chose for the wedding that didn’t happen.
She doesn’t want to be out $1,000 and says she does not associate the gown with her ex-fiancé.
I feel we should try to sell the dress, although it was tailored for her, and pick a new one. What do you think is appropriate? I don’t like the idea of looking back at the wedding photos and thinking the dress was meant for another man.
– Future Husband in California
Dear Husband: Actually, the dress was meant for your fiancee and not another man. There are specialists who can redesign an existing dress. However, because you have negative associations with this gown, offer to sweeten the pot by chipping in if she can’t get $1,000 for the one she has. I think the most “appropriate” thing on your wedding day should be that you are both comfortable, happy and, above all, in sync.
Neighbor borrows constantly
Dear Abby: I have a neighbor who is always asking to borrow things. The items come back only if I go and collect them – from food items like spices to gasoline, cash and more. The situation is almost comical, like Simpson versus Flanders. How can I make my stuff less available without outright saying no?
– Flanders of “Springfield,” Maine
Dear Flanders: And what is wrong with just saying no? When someone’s generosity is abused, that’s the most logical thing to do.
And without being nasty, you should tell your neighbor the reason.