DEAR ABBY: My husband of many years urinates in the front yard of our home. He usually does this after dark, but has on occasion moved to the side yard to urinate during daylight hours. When we were first married I thought it was because he was drunk -- but he's been sober for more than 10 years.
I've told him I believe his behavior to be a form of perversion, illegal and disgusting. Years ago, he promised to stop since it upsets me so much, but when I interrupted his front-yard ritual a few moments ago he said he "forgot" how strongly I felt about it. He promised not to do it anymore and reassured me that all men do it. He doesn't think it is wrong at all.
Abby, we live in a nice neighborhood, my husband has a college degree, is a successful businessman and is over 50. I am so afraid my neighbors have seen him I can't even think about it. I've seen him do it even when the toilet would be closer. Is this a normal male ritual? -- THE "WHIZ-ZARD'S" WIFE
DEAR WIFE: This is not a subject that's often discussed, but I suspect the practice is not unusual. Dogs and cats urinate to mark their territory. Your husband may be doing it for the same reason. For pets, the problem can be resolved by neutering; however, I wouldn't recommend that for your husband. The Los Angeles Police Department informs me that it's "not illegal as long as it is not in public view." Check with the police in your city to be sure there are no ordinances against it.
DEAR ABBY: Why do so many mothers dress their little girls like adults? When my granddaughter, age 7, showed me her new bathing suit, I was appalled. It was a two-piece bikini that barely covered her bottom, and the top was no better. I didn't say anything other than to ask her who had chosen it. My granddaughter told me her mother did.
I don't know if I should say anything about this to my daughter-in-law. I don't want to lose her friendship, but the world doesn't need 7-year-old sexpots, and I believe that, aware of it or not, my daughter-in-law is encouraging this attitude in her child.
I have noticed that in her family all the women tend to dress provocatively. I want my grandchildren to learn better values than this. However, since they don't live nearby, I don't have much opportunity to influence them.
I don't want to run their lives or make enemies, but if the elders of our generation do not teach their young people about life and values, who will? I'm not afraid to be unpopular by standing up for what I believe; neither do I want to cause trouble. I'm not saying I'm better than my daughter-in-law, but I think my values are. What should I do? -- TROUBLED GRANDMA
DEAR TROUBLED GRANDMA: Any attempt on your part to "correct" your daughter-in-law's child-rearing methods could cause more harm than good. Because you are deeply troubled, approach your son privately with your opinion of the swimsuit and your values.
Keep in mind that although you do not live nearby, as your grandchildren mature, you will have many opportunities to share your values when they visit you or you visit them.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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