Dear Annie: My wife and I are lucky to live near the friendliest, most helpful neighbors we could ask for. They are a middle-aged European couple who moved to the States two years ago.
Here’s the problem. They have a swimming pool in their backyard, and when they use it, they do not wear swimsuits. I assume they are just doing what is normal in their native country.
When I am outside, I simply try to look the other way and ignore them. However, when they see me or my wife, they almost always call out to say hello and start a conversation. My wife is not bothered by it, and will go over and talk with them. However, I’m not so comfortable. Generally, I wave and go back into the house until they are out of the pool.
My wife says I am overreacting, but I don’t think I should be uncomfortable in my own yard. She does not want to put up a fence, as she thinks it would be unsightly and unwelcoming. Can you help? – Neighbors of Lord and Lady Godiva
Dear Neighbors: You cannot stop the folks next door from sunbathing nude unless there are restrictions in your town. You also should not be reluctant to use your own yard when the neighbors are out. The solution truly is a fence or perhaps shrubbery that would allow each of you to have more privacy. There is nothing unwelcoming or unsightly about nice bushes, plants or flowers. Unless, of course, your wife likes to look more than she is willing to admit.