DEAR ABBY: My 53-year-old husband insists on raising the window shade and turning on the light when he takes a bath and when he washes up in the morning. He strips naked to brush his teeth and wash his face while standing 4 feet from the window. The window is large, and it starts just above the bathtub.
I have asked him not to do it because I don't think it's appropriate. I have told him he will be regarded as the "weird old man" in the neighborhood. When I told him the situation bothered me, he stopped for a few weeks. Now he's at it again.
Our yard is large and open, so there's an opportunity for the neighbors to see what's going on. How do I get him to stop? Or should I just let him continue and try to get over it? -- WANTS LESS SOUTHERN EXPOSURE IN MINNESOTA
DEAR WANTS LESS: Your husband isn't "going" to be regarded as a "weird old man" in the neighborhood –- he's already there. That you told him it bothered you and he felt compelled to start again indicates to me that he gets a thrill out of exposing himself in situations where he could get caught.
Because he's in his own home, I don't think he's breaking any laws. However, rather than argue over it, I have a suggestion: Contact a window company and have the bottom half of the bathroom window "frosted." That way, your husband can parade around the way nature made him, and if anyone happens by, there won't be any embarrassment.
DEAR ABBY: I run a small day-care business out of my house. I watch only the children of relatives or friends.
One of my friends wants me to start watching her young daughter, "Sierra," who will turn 6 this summer. The problem is Sierra is terrified of animals, large and small. We have a dog, three cats and a guinea pig. Sierra refuses to even get out of the car and stand in my yard. I think they should find day care elsewhere. They, however, keep insisting that Sierra will be "just fine" and that she understands that, come summer, she'll have to come to my house.
Abby, I think it's cruel and insensitive of them to expect Sierra to "get over it" just like that. I have asked them to start asking Sierra to get out of the car and slowly work her way up to coming in before summer starts, but they just laugh and shrug it off. Please help me make them understand without my having to come right down and refuse to take the child. I'm afraid I'll lose friends over this. -- "MARY POPPINS" IN KENTUCKY
DEAR MARY P.: I believe it was your namesake who coined the phrase, "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down." Because your concerns are realistic, sweetly tell your friends that you have instituted an "entrance exam." Unless they can prove to you that their daughter can get out of the car, enter your house and interact with the other children, you cannot accept her. They are doing her -– and you -- a disservice by ignoring her animal phobia. Their child may need professional help to get over it. Say it with a smile, but for everyone's sake make the statement.
For the parents to pretend that their daughter's terror of animals will vanish with no intervention on anyone's part is not only unrealistic, it's unfair to their daughter, to you, and to the other children in your care. If they're unwilling to take action, they are not "friends." They are just poor parents who are trying to unload their problem onto you.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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