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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Being Offered Sex Needs a Talk With Dad

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Ben," is a loving, caring, big-hearted and sincere man, but I have a problem with the way he presents himself in public. His clothing is frequently stained, wrinkled and ill-fitting, and he doesn't seem to care. He even wears clothing with holes and rips. Some of his clothes look like they haven't seen a washing machine in weeks because they're so stained.

I have bought Ben new clothes, but most of the time he puts them away and wears his old, beat-up and grubby things. He gets upset and defensive when I bring it up. Other people have commented about the way he looks and, frankly, sometimes I'm embarrassed to be seen with him.

He's a great guy and I don't want to hurt his feelings, but this really bothers me. I don't want him to look like a fashion plate, but neat and clean would be good. Any ideas on how to deal with this? -- DISAPPOINTED WITH DISHEVELED

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: I do have one. Rather than buying your husband any more clothes he doesn't wear, take him shopping and have him select some items in which he would feel comfortable.