DEAR ABBY: I have really nice neighbors, and we are always pleasant to each other. We put up a large above-ground pool in our backyard, and they put up a trampoline.
I would like to enjoy our pool (how to put this delicately?) without tan lines. I do not want to offend them or expose myself to their teenage son when he's jumping on their trampoline. Is there a tactful way to ask them to move the trampoline since there is no other way to stay discreet in my own backyard?
— NO TAN LINES
DEAR NO TAN LINES: Have you not heard about "tan through" fabrics? They were invented years ago to help women achieve a "summertime glow" without the risk of being reported for indecent exposure. You can find more information about this type of swimwear online by searching "no tan line swimsuit."
One caveat: Dermatologists recommend avoiding the sun to prevent skin cancers. When using these garments, make sure to use sunscreen underneath the swimsuit so you will achieve an all-over tan instead of a nasty all-over sunburn.
DEAR ABBY: I recently discovered my wife was having an "emotional affair" with an also-married co-worker. She swears it wasn't physical, but their texts contain professions of love for each other and claims of "I can't wait to see you again." As I read them, my heart was pounding out of my chest, and I wasn't sure if I would survive the day.
My wife blames it on my emotional shortcomings. I agree that we have had issues. But I love her very much, and I don't want to see our marriage fail. No one forced her to have an affair. But she refuses to accept that. How can I get her to acknowledge that what she did has threatened our marriage and gutted me?
— HURTING IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR HURTING: Unless you and your wife are willing to deal with the issues that led to her having the emotional affair, she may continue to seek fulfillment elsewhere. Stop arguing and agree to go as a couple to a licensed marriage and family therapist. You both have work to do repairing your relationship, and doing so may take time and mediation.
DEAR ABBY: Our boy-and-girl twins are celebrating another birthday soon. They will be 5 and want a joint party. They have mutual friends, as well as other, individual friends.
What's the best way to word an invitation suggesting that the boy guests bring only a gift for him, and the girl guests bring only a gift for her without sounding tacky? We don't want to overburden people who may feel obligated to bring something for each child. Frankly, they have been blessed materially, and are in need of very little.
— PERPLEXED PARTY PLANNER
DEAR PERPLEXED: Why not send separate invitations for each twin? It may save their friends' parents some confusion. And consider including "If you have questions or need further information, call me" on the invitations as well.
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.