HUSBAND IS RELUCTANT SPECTATOR AT WIFE'S PARADE IN THE NUDEDEAR ABBY: My wife walks around our house nude or topless with the shades open, and anybody walking outside can see in. Recently she did this while some painting contractors were working around our house. I have begged her not to, to no avail. What should I do? -- MORE MODEST IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR M.M.: It appears you married an exhibitionist. You might point out to her that parading around that way could be considered disrespectful to the workers she's exposed herself to. But don't be surprised if she's unwilling to change because it may give her some kind of thrill. (I'm sure it also gives the viewers something to talk about around the dinner table.)
People don't realize that covering the coals with sand hides them and keeps them hot for up to 24 hours! Beach fires must be treated differently from those in a forest, where they should be covered with dirt because of the surrounding trees. -- BEACH ETIQUETTE
DEAR B.E.: I'm printing your letter not only as a warning to beachgoers who might be using fire pits, but also to the parents of small children because hot buried coals can be a hidden danger to their little ones. Because the coals cannot be seen, children sometimes confuse fire pits ringed by rocks with "sandboxes," and the results can be tragic.
According to the University of California Irvine's Regional Burn Center, "coals should be extinguished by drenching them with water, waiting five minutes and drenching them again." (Italics are mine.) When water isn't available, the coals should simply be allowed to burn out.
Abby, my husband is still emotionally distraught over her death. Patrick's parents were absent from his life and Grandma Sally had raised him. Did we make a mistake by not postponing our wedding? How can I help him? -- SAD NEW WIFE IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR SAD NEW WIFE: Life is for the living. I don't know how large your wedding was, but if there were contracts involved (hall, flowers, music, caterer, guests coming in from out of town, etc.), you were right to follow through with your plans. I am sure that's what Grandma Sally would have wanted.
Please convey to your husband how sorry I am for his loss. Because he is moving so slowly through the grieving process, it would be helpful for him to contact a grief support group. To find one, he can ask a doctor, clergyman or hospice for a referral.
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