Dear Wayne and Wanda,
My wife and I are comfortable walking around the house in the nude, but my boundaries are a little more strict than hers. For example, she thinks it's fine to walk around naked with the curtains open. It's not the front curtains, just the ones on the side, but we have neighbors on both sides.
There are two young boys living in the house next to ours. The parents used to be friendly, but now they're not so much anymore and I can't think of another reason other than they're upset my wife is parading around naked in front of their children.
She thinks I'm being ridiculous. What do you think?
-- In the Buff
That's not ridiculous ... that's awesome! Who doesn't enjoy a naked woman walking around next door? My roommates and I certainly would. So in a few months when you drive away your neighbors, be sure to let me know about the vacancy and we'll move right over. I'll bring popcorn!
Seriously though, I wonder if she would feel as comfortable strutting around naked if she knew she would be seen by grown men more often than young children? Perhaps she would, but it sounds like you certainly wouldn't feel great about it. And honestly, you shouldn't feel great about it now.
The privacy in "privacy of your own home" ends when the kids, dogs, dads and moms next door can see you, not to mention the mailman, glad-handing politicians and cookie-selling Girl Scouts working your neighborhood. Tell her to close the blinds or grab some clothes. This doesn't make you a prude; it makes you a respectful neighbor.
Tell her to close the blinds or grab some clothes? Yeah, that will go over really well. Modern wives love being told what to do by their husbands!
You can ask her politely, one last time, if she would please close the curtains when she's walking around naked. Tell her you love how comfortable she is with her body, but that you're just trying to be respectful of others who have a different view (and oh, what a view they've been getting). Ask her if she'll do it as a favor to you, and what you can do to help.
Also, while I'm not an attorney, this is a potential legal issue. Alaska tends to be pretty lenient when it comes to personal freedoms, but from what I can tell, the law can be ambiguous when it comes to nudity in your own home.
Your wife is unlikely to be prosecuted for it, but nudists who know they're visible to others are likelier to get in trouble than those who were unaware. And it sounds as though she's fully aware.
At least winter is on its way, and it will be too cold to worry about it for several months. When all else fails, turn down the thermostat.
Dear Wanda and Wayne,
Regarding the letter from the women whose boyfriend didn't reveal much about his personal history ("Is mystery man good boyfriend material," Sept. 9), I have been an investigator for the past 34 years, and about 10 years ago I started getting women and panicked parents whose daughters were packing their cars and heading to Alaska to live with their Internet love interest.
These women wanted to know if these men were who they said they were, and the parents wanted to stop their daughters from making a big mistake.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the men were not who they claimed to be. For the most part they were men with very bad backgrounds and not boyfriend or husband material. They had drinking and drug problems, criminal histories, married several times with several children, child support liens, IRS liens, bad employment histories and some were on the run from the law. When the parents got certified court records and other background information, they were able to show their daughters the records, and many young women kept themselves from making a long and expensive trip and being sorely disappointed.
These women were smart to check these persons out because I have worked cases where this was not done and the women lost thousands of dollars, were left in debt by these men who stole their IDs, got credit cards and other lines of credit and then skipped out on them, leaving them holding the proverbial bag -- massive debt.
This happens to men as well. I had one client who stood to lose $400,000 from his love interest. She turned out to have 12 social security numbers and IDs. She stole their information from former "love interests." We were able to get him $330,000 back and turn the information over to the authorities. This woman worked for a large criminal enterprise that has hundreds of women trolling the Internet, bars, strip clubs and local communities looking for their next mark.
If you want to know who he really is, contact your local private investigator. It's the cheapest insurance you can get.
-- Leonard Hackett, Hackett's Legal Investigations
• Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.