Carolyn Hax: Advice

Neighbor on display in the morning

Carolyn Hax
Carolyn Hax

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn: I think we have an exhibitionist neighbor. In the morning, before dawn, the bathroom blinds (but not any other blinds) are raised high, the light is on, and she is clearly visible using the toilet and drying herself off after a shower. Her bathroom window is directly in our field of vision as we stand at the kitchen sink, prepare coffee, etc.

We don’t care about the nudity; we’re a gay male couple, and only find it a bit distasteful. But our next-door neighbors, an opposite-sex couple with two young children, face this neighbor’s house directly. We have a feeling she’s well aware of what she’s doing.

Is there any tactful way to let her know it’s not appreciated? We’ve thought of putting a big “Not Interested” sign in our kitchen window but aren’t sure how that would go over. Thanks!

Exhibitionist Neighbor

The sign! Brilliant. I can’t improve on that.

Still, a couple of thoughts: That the other blinds are down suggests she opens these on purpose, but you don’t know that. A note would do, and signing it Male Name and Male Name would drive your other point home. Here’s hoping you aren’t Adrian and Dana or Chris and Dale or Pat and Pat.

And, the kids next door mean you have another awkward task: Tell their mom there’s a show going on that she might not want her kids to see.

Dear Carolyn: My husband mispronounces words constantly. Is it wrong that it bothers me? If so, how do I get over it?

If it makes any difference: He is college-educated and works in a professional setting. I often try to gently tell him the correct pronunciation (in private only), but he gets really (angry) at me. I swear that a major reason I try to correct him is because I don’t want him to be embarrassed when he says the same things to a customer or the head of his company. When I mispronounce a word I genuinely want to be told so I can fix it. You know, like if I have food between my teeth at lunch, please tell me so I can fix it. Gah.

What do I do?

It’s CLIFF not CLIFT!

Stop correcting him. He doesn’t want you to correct him and apparently isn’t embarrassed and/or would rather make mistakes than be corrected.

As for how to get over it, I’m not sure there’s anything except really liking him and being glad you married him. Just as this quirk of his didn’t prevent you from seeing his emotional worth, it won’t keep every customer or employer from seeing his worth professionally.

Some won’t get past it, sure – but it’s who he is and it’s not something you can change about him. You know that because you’ve tried.

We could just as easily be talking about, say, your personality, a part of you that you rightly have no intention of correcting just because the original version might get people thinking, “Hmm, not a good fit for me.”

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com or chat with her online at 10 a.m. each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

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