I’m a 60-year-old woman. My house is on a corner lot. Just about every time I walk outside, a male neighbor of mine stares at me. He looks like a hobo.
I felt bad for him, so when he came to the edge of his yard, I asked him from my deck how he was doing because of the quarantine. He responded by telling me to wear a dress because he wants to have sex with me! I was stunned and went back into the house. I didn’t know he was that crazy. Besides ignoring him, what if anything should I do?
— Shocked Neighbor In Connecticut
Dear Neighbor: Because this was a one-time occurrence, it’s possible your neighbor may have been “under the influence,” or has mental health challenges or a touch of dementia. From now on, ignore him, avoid him and warn the other women in the neighborhood about what happened. If I were one of them, I would like to know.
Other than that, there’s not much you can do unless his behavior escalates and he becomes a nuisance. In that case, you may want to go online to the National Sex Offender Registry just to make sure your neighbor is not a registered sex offender. Then it will be time to file a police report.
Dear Abby: When seeing a therapist is not an option, I have found writing to be helpful. A cheap spiral-bound school notebook works great. The idea is to write at least one full page every day.
Some days, all I can say is, “I don’t want to write,” but I fill that page anyway, so that the commitment is met. However, other days I find I can pour my heart out, unload the things that are hurting me, express my anger, resentments, disappointments and longings. Sometimes, while I’m waiting for the thoughts to come, an insight or solution will present itself.
Because I’m afraid of my thoughts being found and read by someone else, I destroy each page after it’s written. Names can be disguised. The simple act of getting those thoughts out of my head and onto paper helps to relieve stress tremendously. Just thought I’d share this with you.
— Writing It Down
In The East
Dear Writing: Writing or journaling is a very effective way to organize one’s thoughts and purge negative emotions. I’m glad you suggested it because I think it may help some of my readers. Thank you!
Dear Abby: I babysit my nieces and nephews. While we are grocery shopping and we get to the checkout, they’ll ask for candy or chips. If I tell them no, it’s usually because they have already had a treat, it’s too close to a meal or perhaps because they have misbehaved.
What do I do when the person behind me offers to buy it for them? I know they assume I refused because I don’t have the money, and they are trying to be helpful. Saying, “No, thank you,” just upsets the child when he or she knows someone wanted to buy them a treat. Any ideas?
— No Means No In Georgia
Dear No Means No: Instead of just saying, “No, thank you,” to the person making the offer, explain the reason for your refusal as you have explained it to me. That way, the well-meaning stranger understands that you are not short of funds, and your nieces and nephews hear the reason as well.
Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.