DEAR ABBY: I felt vindicated after reading your response to "Clothes-Minded in Wisconsin" (Dec. 31), who complained that her neighbors' 16-year-old son walks around his house nude. You advised her to put curtains on her window and call before dropping over for a visit.
My neighbor complained that when my 15-year-old son (now 17) changed clothes in his room, she could see through her kitchen window into his bedroom. She told me to tell him not to walk naked in front of his window. I wanted to tell her she should look away if she was offended, but everyone I asked seemed to side with her.
My son's solution? He drew a fig leaf and taped it to his window so her view of his "offensive nudity" would be blocked. I thought it was very creative -- and my neighbor never mentioned it again. -- STILL A GOOD NEIGHBOR
DEAR NEIGHBOR: Thanks for sharing your son's "fruitful" solution. In my reply to "Clothes-Minded," I stated that standards about nudity vary from family to family. And the responses I have received have reflected that. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Americans tend to view nudity as an invitation to sex. It need not be. I lived in Germany for five years. The apartment complex I lived in had a large outdoor pool for use in the summer. People of all ages and backgrounds used it regularly. Few, if any, ever wore a swimsuit. Nobody seemed to care, and there was never any evidence of problem behavior.
I'm not advocating public nudity. However, in certain settings, it is what it is -- natural. -- FRANK IN NAPLES, FLA.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are practicing naturists, and I agree with your response to "Clothes-Minded." You advised her to keep the curtains closed to avoid seeing the boy. Naturists know that we live in a "textile" world, and we respect the rights of those who do not wish to view our nudity and restrict our activity to clothing-optional beaches and resorts. I would advise the woman who wrote you to make her objection known -- anonymously, if speaking up would make her uncomfortable. It is the family's responsibility not to cause offense. -- AU NATUREL IN LOMBARD, ILL.
DEAR ABBY: What made my jaw drop was the neighbor's ability to describe exactly what time of day the young man appears in his kitchen every morning to eat breakfast (naked), and even what programs he watches on TV! Granted, this guy should put on a robe, but, Abby -- that woman needs to get a life. -- CANDY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ABBY: As a parent, it bothered me that you didn't contemplate the "other side of the fence." That neighbor should be considered a "peeping mom"! If she knows the young man's routine as well as she seems to, she's been peeping for a while.
Just because they have been neighbors for years and watched their children grow, does not mean she's not guilty of watching a little too closely. My advice to her: Keep your eyes to yourself. -- KIM IN HELENA, ALA.
DEAR ABBY: The circumstances differ, but that letter brought to mind the old story about the woman who called the police because she could see her neighbors in the next apartment building making love. The policeman looked through her window and said, "I can't see a thing." Her reply: "You can if you stand on the bed!" -- MARTIN IN PORT CHARLOTTE, FLA.