Dear Margo: I am a 28-year-old woman. I’ve never been married, and I have no children.
For the past four months, I have enjoyed a great relationship with a truly wonderful guy.
Yesterday, he confided to me that he has a pantyhose fetish. He explained that he gets extremely turned on by seeing women wearing pantyhose and by wearing pantyhose himself.
He occasionally wears them under his clothes while he is out in public.
He feels very strongly that I should know about his fetish, and that I should know his feelings about pantyhose are not likely to change.
He hopes I can accept him just the way he is, but he will understand if I want to end the relationship.
Do you think this is a big enough deal to break up over? — Wanda
Dear Wan: Oh, no. This is more common than you think, and some guys go for the whole deal … high heels, wigs, makeup. And they are straight.
I salute him for fessing up, and you should regard this as merely a little kink.
If it turns him on to see you in pantyhose and to wear them himself, have a ball.
Look at it as so much better than needing porn or a third for bridge.
And perhaps suggest to him my two favorite brands: L’eggs and Wolford. — Margo, playfully
Dear Margo: I am utterly humiliated.
I’m 32, the mother of a 14-year-old daughter, “Sarah,” and a general supermom: intelligent, athletic, attractive and competent.
My daughter worships me, and her friends think I’m terrific. I’ve taught Sarah to be independent and assertive, and I always try to set the example.
A few days ago, Sarah and I came home from shopping and walked in on a couple of young punks burglarizing our home. Assertive me froze.
I put my arms around Sarah and told the guys to take what they want and not hurt us.
Thankfully, we were not harmed, but we were left on a bathroom floor bound and gagged with duct tape — safe but feeling helpless and humiliated.
Neither of us could get loose, and we had to lie there squirming for hours until my husband came home and found us.
Never during the time we spent bound did Sarah cry, and her fierce efforts to get loose long after I had given up made me feel proud.
But her first words when our gags were removed were, “Mom, we could have taken them. Why did you let them tape us up?”
Those words punished me more than being confronted by robbers, more than spending hours tied up and gagged.
I felt I had let my daughter down. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the feeling that I gave in without fighting.
How do I make this up to her and regain my sense of competence and authority? — Virginia
Dear Vir: I beg to differ. Unless your teenage daughter has a black belt in karate, there’s no way the two of you could have “taken them.”
And even if you thought you had a chance, it wouldn’t have been a wise thing — or a sure thing.
In such a situation, law enforcement people stress that you acquiesce to avoid the robbers becoming rattled and harming you.
The things they took are only things. Your instincts were right, and your daughter’s were immature. (Or she’s been watching too much television.)
This experience was an extreme version of a teachable moment, and rather than feel humiliated or that you’ve failed, make the lesson to your daughter be that the correct response is not to get into a physical altercation with two men — even “young punks” intent on criminal activity.
You in no way let her down, and I hope you will reinforce the wisdom of behaving as you did. — Margo, sensibly
Dear Margo: I have a close friend I’ve known for 10 years, and every Friday night we get together for Shabbat with other good friends and family.
He has gone through some difficult times over the years, losing a very long-term relationship and his beautiful home.
We have all been there for him, emotionally and financially. Our Friday night group is a wonderful support system we’ve all relied on over the years.
Recently, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) broke down his front door, ransacked his place and then hauled him off to jail.
It turns out that he is accused of being part of a Methamphetamine trafficking ring they’ve been monitoring for the past two years.
He was released on bail after a few days and is awaiting trial.
He has not denied what he is accused of, but doesn’t seem to think it should interfere with our friendship.
I am shocked that he may be involved in something so onerous and harmful.
I hate the thought of abandoning him and our long friendship, but I fear that my association with him may put my reputation and even my job in jeopardy. What should I do? — On the Horns of a Dilemma
Dear On: This is, indeed, a hard call.
Friends stand by friends, hell or high water. In this case, however, the high water is a destructive criminal activity.
The fact that he has not denied it (to the friends) suggests the charge is true.
I’m not sure how his difficulty could have any impact on your livelihood, but if it does, then you will have to get out your emotional scale and balance all the factors.
Then, too, some people have very strong feelings about people who deal drugs, and I am one of them.
I think there are times when a good friend forfeits a relationship when the other person has gone beyond what he deems acceptable.
From the sound of things, you did not have this information before the DEA entered the picture, so I guess I would tell you to put the friendship on ice until after the trial. That verdict will determine the outcome. — Margo, unhappily
Dear Margo: My son and daughter-in-law are newly separated and heading for a divorce.
They are trying to get along for my grandson’s sake.
My son told me last night that when they were expecting a second baby two years ago, they terminated the pregnancy for a couple of reasons.
My daughter-in-law wanted the baby, but my son pushed for an abortion.
I’m absolutely devastated; I can’t look my son in the face.
I am Catholic, and abortion goes against everything I believe. And my son told me not to tell anyone.
I feel I’ve failed as a mother. I am so heartbroken that I want to die. — Grieving Grandmother
Dear Grieve: I don’t understand why your son wanted you to have that information at this late date, but there you are.
He is clearly a lapsed Catholic; whereas, he has to know you take your Catholicism seriously.
The bottom line, however, is that it is the parents’ decision about whether or not to have a child.
My guess is they sensed, at the time, that the marriage was unraveling, and they didn’t feel they wanted to bring another baby into the world.
You in no way failed as a mother. In fact, this has nothing to do with you.
I hope you can arrive at an understanding of the situation in this light. I think any person of faith must allow others to live life as they see fit.
I suggest you concentrate on your grandson during what has to be a confusing time for him. And I would look forward, not back.
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. — Margo, understandingly
Dear Margo: I’ve been married to my husband for 10 years. We have two kids, ages five and two, and another on the way. We both work full-time jobs and only have weekends off. It seems that lately hubby’s always off playing golf or working out for hours at a time on the weekends. I get so irritated because I’m stuck at home looking after the kids while he’s elsewhere having fun. I rarely have any free time on the weekends because he’s off “doing his thing.” By the time he gets home, we both do “family time” with the kids.
I just want to know whether I’m being unreasonable to expect him not to have his “alone time” on the weekends. Do you think I should just let him do this because he’s a good provider and father otherwise? — Wanting To Be Fair
Dear Want: It is hard for me to know exactly how much your husband is absenting himself on the weekends. If you feel as though he’s entertaining himself away from the house all of Saturday and Sunday during daylight hours and his picture should be on a milk carton, then by all means tell him you’d like some time to yourself, as well, and suggest that some adjustment is called for.
If it’s only part of a day, tell him the same thing: You would like some time to yourself. Then work out a flexible schedule. I do not think anyone should constantly be with little kids without a break if they can possibly help it. — Margo, fairly
Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to email@example.com