When I read the letter from "Seen It All in Minneapolis," from the woman who, from her driveway, can see her neighbors through their bathroom window, I had to smile. I live in a townhouse and my neighbors and I share a common bedroom wall. One night I was awakened by a pounding noise. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from, and eventually went back to sleep.
Over the next few weeks, I was awakened frequently by the same sounds. One night, after listening for a while, I realized it was coming from my neighbors' bedroom -- they were having intimate relations.
I didn't say anything at first, but finally decided I had to. I was afraid my mother would be visiting while the neighbors were going at it again. I was more than a little embarrassed at having to broach the subject.
One morning, I rang the couple's doorbell. When the woman came to the door I said, "I have something to tell you -- the walls here aren't very thick." She took one look at my red face and understood immediately. Needless to say, I never heard them again.
Silence Is Golden in Maryland
They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The same holds true for bedsprings and things that go bump in the night. Read on:
I have a simple solution for "Seen It All." Plant a bush, install a trellis, or build a fence between the driveway and the window to obscure the view. If that doesn't work, plant a fig tree and lend your neighbor a leaf.
Nature Lover in Rome, N.Y.
Why not? It was the first "fashion statement" conceived in the Garden of Eden.
Several years ago my sister had the same problem -- only SHE was the one with the bathroom window that wasn't opaque enough. Her bathroom faced the street.
One of her neighbors sent her a card that looked like a wedding invitation. It read, "This is to inform you that the one-way frosty glass window in your bathroom is in backward." She never found out who sent it, but she had that window fixed in a hurry.
Kathy From Oklahoma
It could have been worse. It could have been an announcement of another au naturel performance of "Oh, Calcutta!" at her address.
I am a man who believes in equality, but I seldom find it with the women I date. I work full time, cook, clean, wash clothes, iron, shop, etc. I don't believe there is such a thing as "woman's work." The women I know agree with this philosophy, but have a problem accepting that there is no such thing as "man's work" either.
I believe in equal pay for equal work -- with which my dates agree. But when the concept of sharing expenses is proposed, my idea of "fairness" is not well received. For example, if I buy a woman dinner on Friday night, I believe she should pay for my dinner on Saturday. If I drive one weekend, she should drive the next.
I have been called cheap, biased, and even obscene names. What's a modern man to do?
Puzzled in a Small State
A modern man should take into consideration whether or not the women he's dating have approximately the same income he does. All things being equal, I subscribe to your philosophy. However, it shouldn't be set in concrete as you have stated it. If the lady doesn't take you to dinner, she might reciprocate in another way: cooking dinner for you, taking you to a movie, making a picnic for the beach or a ballgame.
I do differ with you on one point, however: Driving alone at night can be dangerous for women. You should provide the transportation.
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