Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Ties Still Bind Wife to Mom After Five Years of Marriage

DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Protective Lioness" (Dec. 3) and to you, regarding the man who took his 13-year-old son to lunch at a restaurant that features "scantily clad waitresses." You said you wondered what "other indiscretions" he would have his son hide.

Sorry, Abby, but you both overreacted to the situation. Her husband may have asked his son to keep it to himself because he knew his wife would react the way she did. If my husband took one of our teenage sons to such a place once and didn't tell me right away -- so what?

And why such a big deal over a little skin (and probably cleavage) showing? I often see less clothing on young women when I'm out shopping for groceries! And honestly, when did it get to the point that a couple must know in down-to-the-minute detail everything a spouse/lover has done while away from the other?

"Protective Lioness" doesn't sound so much "protective" as she does insecure. It makes me wonder who she's more upset about seeing the waitress -- her son or her spouse? -- A MOM IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

DEAR MOM: You're right. I did react strongly to that letter. I viewed the problem through the prism of my own experience. To me the important issue wasn't the amount of flesh that was showing in the restaurant. It was the husband telling his son not to disclose something to his mother. It didn't strike me as off-base that the woman would be upset -- not at the choice of restaurants, but at the idea that the father would instruct his son to "take sides" and keep her in the dark.