DEAR ABBY: During a recent family dinner, my uncle presented an odd gift to everyone there. He's in his mid-50s and involved in the community and government of a small town. He and other "public figures" -- most of them older -- decided to publish a calendar. On each page there is a nude photo of an aging community luminary posing with strategically placed objects covering his/her "goods." To say the least, the photos are not flattering, funny or particularly modest.
Not only did my uncle give one to every family member -- including my 80-year-old grandparents -- but he took pains to point out HIS photo. The awkward silence that followed ruined an otherwise nice family dinner.
Did this gift cross the line? Is there a rule of etiquette regarding risque pictures of oneself? And how do I make sure I never have to see any other family members in their birthday suits without my consent? -- FLABBERGASTED IN THE HEARTLAND
DEAR "FLAB": Personally, I think the premise of the calendar is a hoot. While your uncle may have wanted to "shock" the family, I'm sure he didn't intend to offend anyone. A movie was made a few years ago about a group of older women in an English village who did something similar to raise money for charity.
I'm sorry your family was offended, but I'm sure they'll recover and so will you. In the future, don't accept any gifts from this relative unless they have a warning label.