DEAR ABBY: Sometimes when my husband has been drinking, he does things I consider inappropriate with his cousin and childhood friend “Jasper.” The most recent incident involved my husband pulling down his pants and showing Jasper his private parts. Later that night he tried to grab Jasper’s crotch.

To me, Jasper seems slightly uncomfortable, but he just laughs it off. When I confronted my husband about it, he said I was overreacting and he was “just messing around.” I don’t think he’s gay, but it almost feels like he is cheating on me. Am I overreacting, and what should I do?

— CONFOUNDED IN THE MIDWEST DEAR CONFOUNDED: Your husband’s immature behavior “sometimes when he has been drinking” is EXTREMELY inappropriate. How many times has this occurred? Get to the bottom of this because it appears you are married to a problem drinker who may need help.

DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, my mom and I started a book club. For the most part, it’s been a lot of fun. But one member, “Maeve,” has to be the smartest person in the room no matter the topic. She often belittles other members she considers less educated than she is. She also frequently doesn’t read or finish the book. She uses the excuse of, “Oh, I read that years ago, and I didn’t have time to review it again.”

Maeve is retired, and I don’t mean to judge what she does with her time but, if all of us who are working can find time, surely she can too. Abby, would it be terrible to ask her to leave the book club? Every other member has complained to either me or my mom about Maeve. What should we do?

— BOOK ADDICT IN THE SOUTH DEAR BOOK ADDICT: Talk privately with Maeve. Tell her how her actions have made the rest of the members uncomfortable and give her some examples. Then tell her that if she can’t keep up with the reading and contribute in a positive manner — which is the reason the club was formed — she should withdraw.

DEAR ABBY: I am a happily married woman. After 45 years of working full time and raising three great children, I decided to retire. I loved working and raising my children, and I am now thoroughly enjoying my retirement. I do not yet have grandchildren, and my days are quiet and simple, which is fine with me. My husband and I enjoy little things — the crossword puzzle, discussing the news, going to a play or concert and enjoying the company of our kids and extended family when together.

The problem? My working siblings and their spouses constantly ask, “So, what are you doing with your time?” If I say, “Enjoying each day as it comes,” they scoff and say, “So, you’re just doing NOTHING?! Are you ever going to work again?” It makes me feel sad and judged, and I don’t know how to respond. What can I say to these folks who think I’m “doing nothing?”

— LOST FOR WORDS IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR LOST: You can feel sad and judged only if you allow it. All you have to say to these people is, “I’m finding plenty of things to devote time to — spending more time with my husband, chief among them — and I’m wallowing in it!” Then smile.

READERS: For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

Contact Dear Abby at www.Dear

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

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