DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law allows her 2-year-old daughter to run around naked before bath time and at other times. They have been visiting us, and there are also other people in the house and yard. The child's mom tells her to say, "Look at these buns!" and laughs.
We feel this is inappropriate and dangerous. How can we get through to her that it's not right? - Concerned Grandma in Wis.
DEAR GRANDMA: While I don't think that allowing a child to run around nude at home is dangerous, I do agree that encouraging a child to run naked and say, "Look at these buns!" is unwise. The response it brings ("Ha, ha, ha - isn't she cute!") teaches the little girl that this is a way to get attention. While this may be amusing at 2, it is setting a pattern that will attract the wrong kind of attention when she is 4, 5 or 6. Perhaps you can make your daughter-in-law understand by showing her this column. I certainly hope so.
DEAR ABBY: I am an asexual college student with a question about dating. When should I tell someone that I'm asexual? I'm not really "out" - mostly because I don't feel the need to talk about it - but I'm not ashamed of it, either. What do you think?
- New England "Ace"
DEAR ACE: I see no reason to announce it at a first meeting because it's nobody's business. The time to tell someone you are asexual is after you have gotten to know the person well enough to be comfortable sharing information.
In case you don't realize it, you are not the only asexual person out there. An organization exists that enables asexuals to connect with each other. It's the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), and you can find it on the Internet at asexuality.org.
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.