DEAR ABBY: It happened again last night. It must be "the place" to meet and talk on several otherwise excellent TV shows. I'm referring to the men's restroom. The most offensive show in this respect is "L.A. Law," and now the premiere of "Capital News," too. I am very uncomfortable and offended while watching TV with friends and/or young people when men are filmed literally going through the motions of using the urinal as they talk to one another.
On "L.A. Law" last week, two men in two stalls dropped their pants and tossed toilet paper between stalls - all the while the camera photographed this from the floor. Is this really an acceptable area for filming? I find it very embarrassing to have to share in such a private (or it should be) act.Abby, you have more clout than viewers boycotting advertised products. What is your opinion? I don't think I'm a prude; I just believe this is in extremely poor taste. - MIDWEST R.N. AND MOM
DEAR MIDWEST R.N.: I agree with you, and I don't consider myself a prude either. Perhaps we're lucky. It could have been worse.
DEAR ABBY: I need your help concerning something that happened to me many years ago. I am now 23 years old and have a very good memory. The trouble started when I was about 3 or 4 years old. My grandfather would pick me up and put me on his lap; then after a while, he would put his hand under my dress and rub me in a private place. With a little girl's mind, and because I was so fond of him, I never thought he would do anything wrong. I would tolerate it as long as I could, then I'd get down. This went on until I was about 7 years old. I remember trying to stay off his lap because it made me feel uncomfortable and ashamed.
When I was 10, my grandfather died. I kept remembering what he had done to me, and I couldn't bring myself to feel sad. Meanwhile, my mother loved her father very much and cried for a long time every time his name was mentioned. Once she asked me if I ever thought of Grandpa and if I missed him. That really got to me, Abby, because I remember what a terrible thing he did to me, and I was glad I didn't have to sit on his lap.
Should I tell my mother what happened and destroy the good memories she has of her father, or keep it to myself since he is now dead? He doesn't deserve to be well thought of after violating my body as a child, but I don't want to hurt my mother.
What should I do? - BITTER MEMORIES
DEAR BITTER MEMORIES: Call the toll-free National Child Abuse Hotline, (800) 422-4453. In addition to information and referral services, telephone crisis counseling is provided to child abuse victims, abusers and others closely involved in such situations. Your local mental health society can recommend a therapist who specializes in counseling adults who have been molested as very young children and still harbor the bitter memories of sexual abuse.
Counseling will help you work through these painful memories, so that you can finally put them to rest. No good purpose would be served in telling your mother.
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