DEAR ABBY: I need your input. Young women today are wearing low-rise pants, short tops and thong underwear. While my wife and I were dining at a restaurant the other night, a woman was sitting with her back to us. She kept leaning forward over the table to talk to her date, and when she did, her top went farther up and her pants crept down, exposing the top 3 inches of her posterior – with all that implies.

I didn’t want to eat my dinner while looking at the great divide. My wife said to do nothing and not to look. Should I have tapped the woman on the shoulder and asked her not to bend over, or should I have asked the waiter to do something? Luckily, she and her date left before our main course was served. It’s the second time this has happened. What do I do the third time? – RICHARD IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR RICHARD: Since asking a waiter to throw a tablecloth over her is impractical, you should ask to be switched to another table if the view from where you are sitting is too distracting.

Frankly, I sympathize. My husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant in Beverly Hills about a year ago, when in walked a well-known rock musician and his much-younger ladyfriend who was also wearing low-rise pants. By the time their entree was served, we were taking bets as to whether they would slide all the way off! She seemed to be aware she had a problem, because she spent a lot of time trying to hoist them back up. The designers who have foisted them on young women as “fashionable” ought to be spanked.

DEAR ABBY: My father started molesting me when I was 13. Other family members and friends (both male and female) also molested me during and after the time my father molested me. I have had no contact with any of these people in more than 20 years – especially my father.

Some of my family want me to reconcile with Dad, but I’m unwilling to do that right now. I was not his only victim. He was never punished in any way, and he has never apologized.

My counselor said that I might never reconcile with my father, which is fine with me. He has not been a part of my life for many years. I am comfortable with things the way they are, but some people just can’t leave well enough alone. I could use some help with this decision. What do you think? – RELUCTANT IN THE U.S.A.

DEAR RELUCTANT: You are paying good money to a therapist who has given you some excellent advice. My advice to you is to listen to your therapist and stop gathering opinions from others. Your reasons for avoiding your family are rock-solid.

DEAR ABBY: I am being married in a small outdoor chapel in the hills in late July. Because of the risk of forest fires, no smoking is allowed on the grounds at all. (The guests must smoke inside their cars.)

Because quite a few of the guests are longtime smokers, I feel the need to address this issue with them. What would be the most polite way without upsetting anyone? – WORRIED IN SIMI VALLEY, CALIF.

DEAR WORRIED: I assume you and your fiance are on speaking terms with everyone you’re inviting to the wedding. You should deal with this by talking to them directly. If they are so badly addicted to tobacco that they can’t forgo smoking outdoors in a fire area in the middle of summer, they should not attend the ceremony. All your lives could depend on it.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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