DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Adam," and I bought a lovely, secluded home in the country. We have no children, and our nearest neighbor is a half-mile away. Now it seems like my husband plans to spend the rest of his life in the nude. He loves it and often tells me how "relaxing" it feels. I must admit his temperament has improved.
Please don't get me wrong -- I'm not a prude. But Adam goes for days on end without wearing a stitch unless we're going out or someone is coming over. He works in the yard, cuts the grass, hikes in our woods naked -- and has a head-to-toe golden tan.
I don't mind seeing my husband in the buff. He's clean and well-groomed and nearly as trim as when we first married. (We both are.) My problem is, Adam is constantly after me to join him. I admire his nerve, but just can't bring myself to go outdoors with nothing on, despite the privacy. My biggest hang-up is fear of getting caught.
Last month, Adam was mowing the lawn and didn't hear the UPS truck come down our long driveway. Caught "red-handed," he nonchalantly signed for the package, wished the driver a good day and went back to work. The driver winked and gave me a thumbs-up as he drove away.
Should I give in to Adam's request and give his nude lifestyle a try? I know it would mean a lot to him. I told him I'd follow your advice. -- "EVE" IN UPSTATE NEW YORK
DEAR "EVE": I'm not opposed to it. From everything I have read, and from readers' testimonials, the naturalist lifestyle is healthy and upbeat, so give it a try. Just be sure to wear sunscreen.
P.S. By December, your problem should no longer be a problem.
DEAR ABBY: My friend "Opal" worries me. When it comes to dating, she meets most of her men in bars. They're usually a lot younger than she is. Opal is in her late 50s -- her "boyfriends" are 40 or younger.
I have no problem with women dating younger men, Abby, but these are guys who have been in jail and who have had drug problems, emotional issues, etc. Because I am Opal's best pal, I am the person whose shoulder she cries on when these relationships don't work out.
I am tired of always hearing the same old sob story. Sometimes I just want to slap some sense into her. What should I do when she calls me upset because she has been dumped again? I've had it, and I don't know what to do. -- APPALLED IN CLEVELAND
DEAR APPALLED: Poor Opal appears to be desperate for companionship and incapable of learning from her mistakes. The next time she calls to cry on your shoulder, give her the wake-up call she needs. Explain that if she's trying to hook a mountain trout, she shouldn't be fishing in a herring barrel. If she takes offense, so be it -- because she's looking for love in all the wrong places, and it appears your friendship has pretty much run its course.
DEAR ABBY: A single male friend and I have had a running debate about the phrase "I love you, but I am not IN love with you." It came up again with his telling another friend he believes there is a big difference between the two.
I have been married for 20 years, and I told him that all love starts out "in" love and gradually becomes a more meaningful and everlasting love. Can you settle this? -- TIRED OF HEARING IT IN TEXAS
DEAR TIRED: You can love more than one person at a time, but to be IN love with someone implies that you are focused only on that person and want the relationship to be exclusive. Although sometimes that feeling passes, other times it deepens into the emotion that you described. In other words, when it comes to love there are no absolutes.