Dear Abby: Some neighbors (I'll call them Dick and Jane) have been friends of ours for almost three years. Last July we put in a swimming pool and invited Dick and Jane over for a swim. We invited another couple (also neighbors) at the same time.
Well, when Dick and Jane came over, they didn't bring any bathing suits, and when we expressed surprise, they said they enjoyed swimming in the nude and had often done so at other people's pools. The other couple brought suits but agreed swimming in the raw might be "fun."My wife exploded and said there would be no nude swimming at our place, and they could either go home and get their suits or forget swimming in our pool. They left, and we haven't heard from them since. (The other couple stayed and swam wearing suits.)
I personally am not all that hung up on nudity, and it wouldn't have bothered me one way or the other, but my wife has all sorts of inhibitions. Do you think we should have let them stay and swim naked?
- No Name, Please
Dear No Name: No. Dick and Jane are entitled to their skinny-dipping in the company of like-minded people. And your wife is entitled to her "inhibitions." Since she was the hostess, there was no reason for her to have to grin and "bare" it.
Dear Abby: My problem is my sister. Brenda is 12 and I am 14. Our job is doing supper dishes every night. We have a system. I clear off the table and wash, and Brenda wipes and sweeps up. We both put away. Doesn't that sound fair to you?
Brenda always gripes that her job is harder than my job, and she picks a fight. Then my mother hears us fighting in the kitchen so she comes in, chases us both out and ends up doing everything herself. Brenda goes out and watches television, and I don't even want to be in the same room with her, so I go to my bedroom.
How can I teach Brenda a lesson?
Dear Jill: Since the argument is always over whose job is harder - and you think they're equal - offer to switch jobs with Brenda. If she still complains, tell her to keep her voice down. Kids have been using this dodge for years to get out of helping their mother, because they know their mother would rather do it herself than referee a fight.
Dear Abby: I am 30 years old and have been married five years. From the time I married, I have thought about my husband's death, mostly the insurance and pension I would receive, although it is not a large sum. I have gone as far as watching the want ads for property I might buy when it happens.
My husband is only a few years older than I and in the best of health, but I think about this daily and wonder if I need help from a doctor. I feel that I love him, and I can't understand why I keep thinking these thoughts. Can you give me your opinion?
- Beginning to Worry
Dear Beginning: If your thoughts give you reason to worry, by all means, consult a doctor. It's possible to worry oneself into a state of ill health.
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