DEAR ABBY: Our 19-year-old daughter is wonderful in many ways. She’s smart, attends a university on academic scholarships and earns excellent grades. The problem is the way she dresses. Her shorts are so short they show some cheek, the bathing suits she wears in our backyard pool are almost thongs, she runs at the track in spandex and a sports bra and gets catcalls.
I understand the outfit would be OK for a formal race, but at the track? Why not throw on a T-shirt? The most recent example was a Sunday afternoon, ladies-only baby shower, to which she wore a pale pink (it looked nude) clingy dress that barely covered her butt. No one else was dressed like that. I was embarrassed. She wasn’t raised like this.
I understand there are times when a young woman wants to look alluring. I have tried to talk to her about classy/sexy versus trampy, but she gets defensive. Any advice? — EMBARRASSED MOM IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR MOM: Many young women dress the way your daughter does in an attempt to emulate current social media personalities. Others do it to get attention because they are not sure they have anything more to offer. Because lecturing your daughter has fallen on deaf ears, let her learn these lessons on her own. And in the meantime, concentrate on helping her to appreciate more of the important qualities she has to offer in addition to what I am assuming is a killer figure.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We seem to have a lot of issues every year around fall. It has been this way for the last five years.
While my husband and I were separated, he was intimate for a month with a younger woman. He decided to stop seeing her and returned home to work on our marriage, but before he approached me about working things out, he apologized to her first. I don’t understand why he owed her an apology. It still bothers me that he felt the need to apologize to her first and not me. What should I do? — HURT IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR HURT: Your husband may not have been entirely honest with the younger woman about his marital status, or he may have felt guilty for leading her on. Who knows? In the interest of saving your marriage, I suggest you focus your attention on the fact that you have your husband back and let this go.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a dad with four kids, three of them grown. When we celebrate my birthday or my wife’s, or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day, I’m the one who always pays. For the most recent Father’s Day dinner, the check was $240. My wife and I are still paycheck-to-paycheck people, and at least one of my kids makes five times as much as we do between her and her boyfriend. Am I getting this wrong? — NOT MADE OF MONEY
DEAR NOT MADE: No, you are not. In some families, the parent, “the head of the family,” picks up the check for celebrations. However, once the children become adults, they usually step forward on occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and treat their parents. Because your children don’t seem to have noticed that they are now adults, you should point it out to them.
Because of the disparity in your incomes, they should at LEAST offer to treat you and your wife on special occasions.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.