DEAR ABBY: My daughter's 15-year-old friend "Willa" no longer comes over to our house. When I asked my daughter why, she said my husband told Willa she was getting fat. Willa told her mother, and her mother told her not to visit us anymore.
I confronted my husband and told him his comment was rude and that he should never have said it. My husband says I'm wrong, making a huge deal out of nothing and he did not mean anything by it. As a mother, I would not appreciate a grown man making comments about my daughter's body.
Am I wrong to think my husband's remark is a form of sexual harassment, even though it was not in the workplace? -- UPSET MOM IN BELLFLOWER
DEAR UPSET MOM: I wouldn't classify your husband's unfortunate remark as sexual harassment. I would, however, call it extremely insensitive and inappropriate. It cost your daughter a girlfriend, so to her it IS a big deal. I'm sure your husband would have been similarly hurt and offended had Willa remarked to him that he is getting a paunch or losing his hair. Suggest it to him, and maybe then he'll get it.
DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, my husband and I decided to clean out our garage. Stored on a top shelf was the box containing my wedding dress. As I pulled it down, I wondered what it looked like after 21 years. After our wedding night I had sent it to the cleaners to be dry-cleaned and boxed. It was returned to me with a gold seal across the opening.
I decided to break the seal and check the condition of the dress, hoping no moths had gotten to it. When I opened the box, there was no wedding dress inside. My husband asked if I had let someone borrow it. "No," I replied, "the box has been sealed all this time."
Then it dawned on me that my dress had never been returned from the cleaners. I never thought to check inside the box when I got it back. Please pass this on as a warning to future and current brides to check their wedding boxes! -- DUPED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR DUPED: What happened was truly unfortunate, and I am pleased to spread the word. It's far too late to find out if your dress was lost or stolen, but checking the box makes sense -- if only to make sure the dress inside is the one that was sent to the cleaners. Better to be safe than sorry.
DEAR ABBY: I want to propose to my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years. We're both in our 30s. My problem is, I don't know what to present to him (like an engagement ring) when I do.
Have you any ideas? Is it strange for a woman to propose to a man? -- DOING IT BACKWARD, BUTLER, PA.
DEAR DOING IT BACKWARD: It isn't strange at all. Women have been proposing to men ever since romantic love entered the picture.
There is no rule that a man must present anything to his intended at the time he proposes, and neither should you. If your boyfriend says yes, the two of you can discuss what he might like to have as an engagement gift at the time you both select a ring for you.
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