My next-door neighbors are nice people, but I'm faced with a problem I don't know how to solve. Their bathroom faces my driveway. They have a coating on their bathroom windowpanes, but it isn't as opaque as they think. There is no other window covering.
Abby, I am greeted nearly every morning with the sight of the man of the house stepping in and out of the shower, sitting on his "throne," etc. I can even tell if he's reading the newspaper.
This morning I went out to my car and could see him through the glass as clear as day. It was hardly a vision of loveliness. Even my friends have witnessed this unforgettable sight. It is embarrassing.
Please print this. I hope my neighbors see this letter and finally put an end to the "show."
Seen It All in Minneapolis
It's not enough to hope your neighbors read Dear Abby and recognize themselves. If you cannot find the courage to tell them the naked truth face-to-face, mail them a sweet note suggesting either a "cover charge" or another form of window covering. If they don't believe you, invite the wife over so she can see for herself. They need to know they're overexposed.
I have single-handedly raised my 16-year-old daughter, "Jenna," for the past nine years. Now she's begging me to let her live with her father and his wife, who live about an hour and a half away. Jenna wants to finish high school there. Over the years, she's visited her father every other weekend and for six weeks during the summers. They spoil her rotten.
Last year, Jenna witnessed her stepmother being handcuffed and taken away in a police car. The charge was forging prescriptions for a controlled substance -- her second felony. Although this woman has been clean and sober for six months, prior to that arrest she was an addict for years. Her grown son, his girlfriend and their baby also live in my ex-husband's home.
I am convinced that Jenna should continue living with me and remain in the school where she is enrolled. She's a good student with many friends. Now she is furious with me because I won't give in to the pressure that she and her dad's household are putting on me to allow her to move. (They've promised to buy her a car.)
Am I wrong to hold to my decision against this move because I feel it is not in Jenna's best interest?
Mother Knows Best in Virginia
Stand your ground and follow your instincts. I see no compelling reason why your daughter should be uprooted from an atmosphere in which she is thriving -- good grades and good friends -- and placed in such a nontraditional household.
While her stepmother's recovery is admirable, and seems to be on its way, there is no guarantee she won't slip. It's not a chance you want to take.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.
(c)2003, Universal Press Syndicate