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October 29, 2012

Grandfather's bulletin board pinup is too close to home for family

:Dear Abby: The other day at my in-laws’, my mother-in-law, father-in-law, “Bert,” and I were in their computer room. Bert has pictures of his family posted on his bulletin board and we often look at them when we’re in the room.

One of the photos he posted recently I found disturbing. It was of a young, well-endowed woman in her early 20s wearing a tight tube top. What disturbed me was that Bert has printed my 16-year-old daughter’s name underneath and the date “2017.” When I asked him about it, he said that was what she will look like at 21. My mother-in-law said she thought it was crude, and I think it’s unnerving for a grandfather to be picturing his only granddaughter in such a manner.

We have a great family life and I wouldn’t want that to end over a picture, but I don’t want to look at it, and I don’t think this is behavior that’s expected from a man in his 60s.

How should I broach the subject that the photo needs to come down?

Concerned Father From Great Lakes

Dear Concerned Father: Grandpa “Bert” appears to be a dirty old man. I’m not sure “you” should talk to him about this. It would have more impact if you, your wife AND your mother-in-law do it together. When you do, tell him that putting your daughter’s name under the picture was in poor taste and you ALL want the picture with your daughter’s name shredded. (That way you’re sure it’s gone.)

Privately, your wife should ask your daughter if Grandpa Bert has ever done anything that made her uncomfortable. If the answer is yes, confront him. If not, explain your concerns to your daughter, tell her you and your wife love her, and she can always come to you with any concerns of her own.

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