Dear Abby: My grandson “Kyle” is in his early 20s, 6-foot-1 and weighs about 230. His sister is a very sweet 15-year-old and a devoted churchgoer.
At a recent family get-together, they were goofing around and he got her down on the floor on her stomach, sat on her knees to hold her down, and proceeded to reach his hand into her trousers to jerk her panties up and out of her pants. He then pulled her pants down almost to the bottom of her buttocks and spanked her.
The whole time, I was trying to get Kyle to stop acting so disrespectfully to his sister, but he ignored me. This happened in front of several people, including my husband, a male cousin in his 40s and the kids’ great-aunt. I was shocked and I’m still angry. Kyle’s aunt agrees with me and wonders whether molestation is involved.
Is this normal behavior between brothers and sisters? Are we old-fashioned? Are we overreacting?
– Shocked in The South
Dear Shocked: While I don’t think that what happened was molestation, Kyle’s behavior was extremely inappropriate. I can only guess how humiliated that poor girl was. I can’t imagine why anyone would allow it to happen without putting a stop to it.
Kyle is an adult, even though he acts like a 13-year-old. What he did amounted to an assault of a minor, which at his age could land him in the pokey, and he needs to be “reminded” of that fact.
Dear Abby: My boyfriend, “Joe,” has what I refer to as “pedestrian rage.” Neither of us drives, so we use mass transit or walk everywhere. We live in a large city and drivers are not always careful about pedestrians in parking lots, crosswalks, etc., making it doubly important to protect one’s own safety when on foot.
I feel that Joe compromises our safety by being confrontational with motorists who fail his exacting standards. He curses loudly, strikes vehicles with his hand, or stops and glares at drivers who anger him. I have asked him repeatedly not to engage with these drivers for fear of retaliation.
The other day a man drove into the crosswalk when we were crossing on the green light. We weren’t close to that section of the crosswalk yet, but Joe smacked the man’s car as we crossed behind it. The man, who was very large and very angry, pulled over, jumped out and threatened to beat Joe up for touching his car. I pulled Joe down the sidewalk as he yelled at the driver.
I am at my wit’s end. I’m afraid to go anywhere with him because he just doesn’t get it. I no longer feel safe with him. His behavior is ruining our relationship. Do you have any suggestions?
– Crosswalk Rage
Dear Crosswalk Rage: I sure do. Stop walking with him until he learns to control his temper because it could not only get himself hurt, but you as well. Banging on a traffic violator’s car and cursing at him only escalates an already unfortunate situation.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.