After we had been married 10 years, he became physically disabled and we had to move. No one in our new city took him for gay, even without me and without a wedding ring on him. He divorced me at 62 because the 30-something home-care aides looked better, but that’s another story.
:Marcia in Pennsylvania
:Dear Marcia: I hope you will write again and tell us the rest of the story, as I’m sure I’m not the only person who would be interested in reading it. I agree that individuals who are uncomfortable with themselves sometimes emit vibes that make others uncomfortable because I have experienced it. But this subject does highlight the absurdity of gay stereotypes. Because a man is slight, soft-spoken and a meticulous dresser does not mean he is gay, any more than it means a man who is fat, sloppy and loud is straight.
Dear Abby: I have been seeing “Duane” for two months. He’s kind, good-looking, successful, smart and fun. He’s also apparently quite proud of his astonishingly hairy chest because he always wears his shirts unbuttoned nearly to his navel. When we’re in public, you can see people react. Sometimes they point and whisper.
I gently raised the issue, but he didn’t seem to think it was a big deal. I like him, but I’m embarrassed sometimes. Any thoughts?
:Blushing in San Francisco
:Dear Blushing: Yes. Your friend is suffering from overexposure. When strangers point and whisper, what they’re saying is usually no compliment. Because Duane’s decolletage embarrasses you, give him a choice: Button up or mow the “lawn.”
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.