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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: There is an older man in my neighborhood whom I see almost every day standing outside his home -- completely nude! When I pick up the paper or go out for the mail, there he is, as naked as the day he was born.

Other neighbors have also seen him in the nude and so has my husband. He's the talk of the neighborhood. We don't know the family well, so I can't decide whether or not to tell his wife. What do you think, Abby? The guy scares me. -- SEEN IT ALL IN BILOXI

DEAR SEEN IT ALL: You have a right to be concerned; your neighbor is breaking the law. The man's wife should be told immediately so she can speak to his doctor and arrange for a complete physical and mental status exam. If that doesn't put a stop to the problem, the police should be notified. Your neighbor could be cited or arrested for indecent exposure.

DEAR ABBY: I attended a wedding a while back. The only thank-you the bride and groom offered was a photocopy of their engagement picture at each place setting. Underneath was printed a caption that read, "Thanks for attending our wedding!"

When I asked the bride what she intended to do about those people who had given gifts, she replied that the cost of stamps was prohibitive (!) and this would be the only thank-you.

What do you suggest we do when the invitations for the baby shower arrive? -- STARTING THE COUNTDOWN IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR STARTING: Be kind and bring a baby gift. But along with it include a book on etiquette. You'll be doing the young woman and her child a favor. It's obvious she's ignorant about this important social skill, and children learn their manners from their parents.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to the love of my life, "Ralph," for almost 24 years. We've been together since we were 17. Three years ago, he was injured in an accident and is now disabled. Ralph's doctors have told me he can never work again.

I am working full time to keep us afloat. Since Ralph is unable to contribute financially to our household now or in the future, his friends have started asking him if he is afraid I'm going to leave him. They assume that since he can't work I won't stand by him.

Is this something that happens to men when they can't work? Do women leave their husbands for this reason? It certainly sounds uncaring and not "for better or worse," which is the vow I took when I married him.

Abby, Ralph has become increasingly insecure since his accident and he's worried that his friends are predicting something that I know isn't going to happen. How can I ease his mind? -- NOT GOING ANYWHERE IN UTAH

DEAR NOT: Tell him often how much you love him, how important he is in your life, and that you would be lost without him. Reassure him that a husband is more than a paycheck, and, as your signature says, you are not going anywhere.

Sadly, some women do marry their spouses only "for better and for richer" -- but thankfully, they're in the minority. For your husband's friends to imply that you belong in that category is both insulting and unfair.

Clip this column and show it to your husband. I hope he won't allow his friends to tarnish your union by creating suspicion where no transgression has occurred.

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-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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