DEAR ABBY: I am the father of a 7-year-old daughter who takes swimming lessons through a community program. Recently, the instructor -- a high school girl -- showed up for class wearing a swimsuit that became mostly transparent when wet. This made me very uncomfortable.
After class, I mentioned to her that I felt her swimsuit was too revealing and inappropriate for a class of grade school-age children and their parents. Two days later, her supervisor called and told me she had received a complaint from the instructor. The instructor had interpreted my comment as "putting the moves on her."
Her supervisor, who was not in class that day, told me I should have ignored the situation, and if it really bothered me, I should have called her instead of talking with the instructor. I've been told I cannot speak to this young woman when I see her in class, and she will no longer be allowed to work with my daughter.
I am happily married, and I have no desire or need to look elsewhere for a sexual turn-on. However, it is hard to ignore a young woman's breasts when they are staring you in the face. I feel that this situation has been blown out of proportion, and if the instructor were my daughter, I would want someone to tell her if her clothing was inappropriate.
Have we gotten to the point with sexual harassment that we can't help another person who is being ogled in public? What would you have done in this situation? -- SORRY I NOTICED THE NEW SWIMSUIT, WISCONSIN DAD
DEAR SORRY: Interesting question. For a 17-year-old girl to be told by the father of one of her students that her swimsuit looked like it had been designed by the creator of the emperor's new clothes was extremely embarrassing.
I would have been less direct than you in dealing with it. First, I would have told my wife about it. My wife would have been only too happy to telephone the supervisor and give her chapter and verse. A swimming class is not Anatomy 101. From then on, I'd bet the girl would have been teaching her classes in something less revealing.
DEAR ABBY: I am writing regarding the letter from "Tired of Being Taken for Granted," whose fiance is out socializing and leaving her at home. This lady may be in a committed relationship, but her fiance, Ric, is not committed to anything but HIMSELF.
I write from experience. I have been married for 40 years to a Ric. I've sat at home, been excluded and treated with disrespect by my Ric.
It's not the friends who cause the problem -- it's Ric. All the excuses he gives about why he must be without her are purely selfish, insensitive reasons to stay noncommitted.
He has a cook, cleaning lady and a bed partner without a commitment to a relationship. Do you honestly think it will get better? No way!
My message for this woman is: Run while you can. You deserve better. -- BEEN THERE AND STILL THERE IN ILLINOIS
DEAR BEEN THERE: After 40 years of the kind of married life you described, I understand why this letter struck a nerve. You echoed my original reply by stating that it's not the friends who are the cause of the problem -- it's Ric. And if he's unwilling to change, she would be better off without him.
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