Dear Prudence: I am a happily married man who has noticed that the young woman who lives next door leaves her drapes open while walking around her apartment half naked. Should I tell my wife, ask the woman to close her drapes, or buy a set of binoculars?
"Prudie," the popular and tragically inept advice columnist at slate.com, told this man to hope his wife would be "reasonable" and not mind his occasional indulgence in the neighbor's inadvertent peep show. Failing that, she said he could buy some sheer curtains, so he could still enjoy the sunlight without feeling tempted.
Ugh. Next she'll be telling readers it's okay to sit outside a woman's bedroom window with a camera, because, hey, men have needs.
My Advice: First, you've got to tell your wife everything. Now.
Consider the likelihood of this scenario:
Wife (entering room suddenly): "Why do you keep looking out the window?"
You: "Uh... I'm bird watching."
Wife: "At 10:30 at night?"
You: "You know... owls... and stuff."
You know women find out everything, eventually. Don't ask me how.
So explain that you saw the neighbor naked, but you looked away quickly because you only have eyes for the amazingly beautiful goddess you've chosen to share your life with.
Then, ask this goddess to politely inform the neighbor of her indiscretion, and request that she shut her drapes or put on some clothes. That way, the awkward situation will probably go away, and you don't risk the whole neighborhood finding out what a perverted creep you are.
Even if your wife is "reasonable," it's not okay to exploit the woman's poor judgment of sight distance for the sake of some sordid ogling. You wouldn't want someone spying on you in the same situtation.
Hey, that was fun! Let's try again, this time with "Dear Abby," which is a fraud right off the bat, because "Abby" never actually existed. Turns out some chick named Jeanne Phillips has been mooching off the name recognition. Not very prudent, if you ask me.
Dear Abby: I'm a vegeterian and my family keeps making fun of my meal choices. My grandfather says, "carrots have feelings, too!" And the workers at the sandwhich shop call me crazy for spending five dollars for a pile of vegetables between two slices of bread.
Abby's Advice: Given all the hormones and chemicals used in meat production these days, vegetariansism is a reasonable choice. But your grandfather is probably too dumb to understand that, so just don't sit near him at family gatherings. Complain to the manager at the sandwich shop.
Yeah, that should work. It's not like senile old men have ever been known to talk across the table. And the sandwich shop workers certainly deserve to have the boss on their backs for what they thought was good-natured ribbing.
My advice: True, the meat industry is evil, so you must be evil, too.
The next time your grandfather says, "carrots have feelings, too," yell back at him, "so do I, grandpa!" and run from the room in tears. The rest of the family will quickly put him in line. As for lunchtime, I advocate an old trick called "going to a different sandwhich shop."
Now, then: if you have some major life predicament easily rectified by some distant syndicated guru, feel free to zip me an email, and I'll get to it just as soon as I'm done checking out these hooters... uh, I mean, owls.