DEAR ABBY: I think my husband may be a cross-dresser. Last night while "Roland" and I were cuddling in bed, I felt his legs and they were smoother than mine. I asked him why he keeps shaving his legs and stomach, and then it dawned on me. Roland has sent me e-mails hinting about dressing up.
One year, he purchased a pair of high heels, saying he wanted to dress up like a woman. I examined them the other day and there is evidence that they have been worn more than once. My lingerie drawer is sometimes a mess, and sometimes my clothes are a bit out of place. I believe my husband dresses up while I'm out of town on business trips.
I'd kind of like to see him dressed up, but I'm afraid he might look sexier than me. Lately Roland has been asking me if he can join me when I go shopping for clothes. He does chores around the house (vacuuming, ironing, dishes), and if he enjoys cross-dressing, I say he can wear any outfit he wants. How can I tell him I know what he's doing? -- WISE TO HIM IN FORT WORTH
DEAR WISE TO HIM: The next time the two of you cuddle up in bed, tell Roland you have been thinking about the e-mail he sent you regarding dressing up, that it's OK with you, and you think you might enjoy seeing him that way. It's a non-threatening way to get the message across.
But please remember that not all men who shave their body hair are cross-dressers. And if your husband has been doing the ironing -- and the washing that would naturally precede it -- your clothes may not have been the way you left them because he put them away. As to him accompanying you shopping, plenty of non-cross-dressers shop with their wives -- and some of them have better taste than the women.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend will not let go of my past. I didn't level with him about a couple of relationships because I knew he was a racist. He found out, and now all I get is teasing and comments almost every day. If he sees a talk show about a liar, he says, "Oh! There you are!" It's the same if the subject is a whore.
What he's doing is hurting me. Is this normal behavior? Am I supposed to ignore him? I have asked him to stop, but he says he won't until I learn to laugh about it. Any suggestions? -- EMBARRASSED IN ANAHEIM
DEAR EMBARRASSED: Just this: What's going on is not "normal" and it's no laughing matter. Tell your boyfriend that the next time he calls you a whore or a liar, he is history. And stand by your word, unless you want to spend the rest of your life with a racist who has a sadistic sense of humor and no respect for your feelings.
DEAR ABBY: How do I tell a friend of many years that the wig she wears is not flattering? We're nearly 80, and the wig is black and falls past her shoulders. Her hair was dark when she was young, but now the color looks harsh.
She started wearing the wig because it was too much trouble to go to the hairdresser every week. Something shorter and lighter in color would look much better.
My friend can be vain about her appearance. How do I enlighten her without hurting her feelings? -- CARING FRIEND IN OHIO
DEAR CARING FRIEND: Here's what I'd do. With the understanding that it's affordable, I would suggest to my friend that "for kicks" the two of us "girls" go out for a makeup and hair makeover -- and let a professional broach the subject. If she declined the invitation, I'd keep my mouth firmly shut. And that's what I'd recommend to you.
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