DEAR ABBY: My friend was at a local event, a child's graduation. There was a woman whose rear end was exposed sitting in the row ahead. Several people took pictures and posted them on Facebook.
My concern is for the woman's family. My friend couldn't think of an easy way to tell her. My question is, how do you tactfully tell someone about her (or his) exposed buttocks without offending the person? -- JUST ASKING IN ILLINOIS
DEAR JUST ASKING: The person who designed low-rise pants for women, frankly, should be taken to the stocks for public punishment. They flatter no one, particularly when the wearer bends or sits. If it's not the flesh dropping over the waistband, it's the Great Rift Valley visible from the rear.
Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, wrote in 1786 (I am paraphrasing) that if some power would give us the gift to see ourselves as others see us, it would free us from "many a blunder"! How right he was.
Had your friend informed the woman in the row ahead that her pants had slipped so low that people were photographing the view, she probably would have been less offended than embarrassed. The message should have been conveyed quietly by another woman if one felt enough compassion to do it.
DEAR ABBY: I was married for 22 years. My husband was verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive to me. I took it for my kids' sake.
My daughter recently had a son, and my ex wants nothing to do with him. He says if we don't name the baby after him, the baby doesn't need him in his life. My heart hurts for my grandson. My daughter is not with the baby's daddy. All the baby has is my daughter, my son and me. I don't know how a grandparent can't want to be a part of an innocent baby's life.
My ex is 45 and living with a 23-year-old. I just want him to at least give the baby a chance to know who his grandfather is. If there is no love there when they meet, we won't pursue a relationship. He is upset with me. I don't know why, because he's the one who asked for the divorce. What do you think about this? -- CONFUSED IN PHOENIX
DEAR CONFUSED: Your ex-husband may be upset with you because he feels some guilt about the divorce, and rather than accept it, he is blaming you for it.
If you think this baby might somehow smooth over the years of abuse you experienced from him, please forget it. It is perfectly logical that your daughter wouldn't want to name her child for him after witnessing what he put you through for so many years -- so please don't let her be coerced into it.
Because your ex is the kind of person he is, it would be better for all of you if the little boy doesn't get to know him. You married a self-centered, selfish, controlling individual. Consider yourself lucky that he's not pushing for involvement, because if that happens he will continue to treat all of you exactly the way he used to.
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, CA 90069.
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