Dear Annie: I am a middle-aged, divorced lady with two older teens at home. I am conservative and have a good job in a medium-sized town.
I have been dating "Gregg," also divorced, for over a year, and everything is going great. He is responsible, kind, sensitive, and a wonderful, passionate man. We have been making tentative plans to marry, and we love each other very much.
Here's the catch. Once, I noticed Gregg wearing women's panties. He thought it was too dark for me to see him, but when he got undressed and went into the bathroom, I turned on the light and saw a nice pair of lacy, nylon panties. I was shocked because Gregg is a macho guy. When he came back in the room, I was holding the panties. He was embarrassed, but came clean and told me he has been a cross-dresser since childhood. He apologized for not telling me sooner.
I don't want to end our relationship, but I also don't want to see him dressed as a woman. Gregg said that he dresses up once or twice a week for a few hours, that it relaxes him and is important for his mental health. He said that when he is all dressed up, he can pass for female and no one can tell. He showed me a picture of himself as a woman, and I must say, he looks very pretty.
I am good-natured and think I could handle it if he does it when I'm not around. But I'm worried that my children or family will make a fuss if they find out. Please advise me, as I am in love with a wonderful man but very confused. -- Hoosier Panties in an Uproar
Dear Hoosier: You have a healthy, tolerant attitude, which bodes well for your future with Gregg. Understand that Gregg is not going to give up cross-dressing, but he should respect your request that he not do it in front of you or your family. However, it is still quite possible that someone will find out. Before making any commitments, please get more information on the subject. We recommend Tri-Ess (tri-ess.org), a support group for heterosexual cross-dressers and their partners.
Dear Annie: I am getting older, and while I have many friends, I have no family members. I have started giving away many of my things to people who will treasure them. However, when I die, I will need someone to clean out my closets and drawers and dispose of my basic possessions. I do not want my friends to deal with this. Are there people who handle this sort of thing? -- San Dimas, Calif.
Dear San Dimas: Yes. Talk to a lawyer and draw up your will so your wishes will be followed. Then appoint someone to be your executor. It can be a friend, or your lawyer, banker, etc. Let them know the situation, and ask them, when the time comes, to hire a service to clean your home and donate or liquidate your possessions.
Dear Annie: You printed a letter about a girl whose sister takes things without asking. I have the same problem with my cousin, "Josie."
We are good friends, but sometimes after she comes over, I end up missing items. Once it was my cell phone charger, another time, my housecoat. My mom told me to confront her, but when I called Josie about it, she had a handful of excuses such as, "Your charger was right by my stuff, and I took it by mistake," or "I thought the housecoat was my mom's."
I find it creepy that when Josie visits, she is looking for a chance to steal something. I love her because she is family, but I don't want her over at my house anymore. What should I do? -- Family Issues in Florida
Dear Florida: Your mother ought to discuss Josie's kleptomania with her parents. She needs help. Meanwhile, visit with Josie at HER house.
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