Dear Annie: I am 23 years old and a virgin. I have never seen a naked man in my life because I believe virginity should be kept until marriage. The other day, I went with my sister to watch my nephew's baseball game. He plays on a field that is uphill, so you can see the backyards of some of the houses across the street. My nephew had heard from his friends that one of the men in those yards sits naked in his hot tub. I always assumed this wasn't true.
When I got to the game, I instantly remembered those rumors. I didn't intend to be a Peeping Tom, but I looked around and saw a man in a hot tub. I assumed this was the guy, so I kept watching. Five minutes later, he got out of the hot tub and really was naked. I instantly got a headache, and my eyes burned. I want to do something to prevent children from seeing him. I know he was in his own backyard, but you could see him clearly from the field. Would that count as public nudity? Do you think I should report him?
- Scarred for Life
Dear Scarred: We're sure glad you didn't go blind. For someone claiming not to be a Peeping Tom, you certainly expended a lot of energy trying to catch a glimpse of this naked man. If he is hot-tubbing on his own property and taking appropriate precautions to be discreet, it is not public nudity. Unless, of course, he does the hot-tub routine only during games, in which case, there is some exhibitionism going on. If you think this is traumatizing the Little Leaguers, you can mention it to one of the parents.
Dear Annie: My husband yells and screams at me constantly. I have begged him over and over to resolve our differences after our children are in bed. He won't.
I never know what is going to make my husband blow up. My oldest daughter is 5, and I am starting to see the effects. I know you are going to suggest counseling, and he has seen a counselor, but he doesn't realize the impact his rage has on our children. Please tell me what this will do to my childrens' personalities.
- Worried in Tulsa
Dear Tulsa: It depends on the child, but regardless, it won't be good. When faced with an angry, out-of-control parent, some children retreat and become timid, socially awkward and afraid to form relationships. Others act out and become violent. Children often repeat their parents' behavior into adulthood with the sons raging at their wives and the daughters being attracted to men who abuse them.
Your husband has a serious anger problem and needs to get it under control. Aside from counseling, which should be ongoing, suggest he see his doctor for a complete physical and a depression screening. Sometimes these problems have an underlying medical cause. In the meantime, understand that this is emotional and verbal abuse. The entire family could benefit from counseling.
Dear Annie: The letter from "Had Enough" jolted me right off the couch. I am in my 60s and, due to Crohn's disease, have had an ileostomy since my late 20s. I also have been through menopause.
"Had Enough" needs to stop feeling sorry for herself and look at that ostomy as a gift of life. She should be grateful her husband is sexually interested in her, bag and all. I was young and single when my first ostomy surgery was performed, and after that, I married, raised two children and am now a happy grandmother. How fortunate that we live in a time when medicine can provide us with a normal life. My bag is opaque, and there is no reason to hide it. I have never had to worry about a comfortable position, either. No special precautions are necessary. I am just as raring to go as ever. I hope "Had Enough" will learn to look at her transformed body with gratitude.
- Happy Bag Lady
Dear Happy: What a wonderful outlook on life. You are an inspiration.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.