Abby: Pair disagree on display of bathroom art

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I’m a married woman in my 30s. My husband and I own a home, which I have decorated to our taste with the exception of “my” bathroom. My husband and I use separate bathrooms. Mine is the one on the main floor, which is also used by our guests.

A few months ago, I purchased a large piece of art to hang in my bathroom. Admittedly, it is a bit provocative, but I don’t consider it to be over the top. My husband said he didn’t care that I hung it, but when his father came to visit recently, he took it down and hid it. I didn’t say anything, but I now feel he is embarrassed by my taste.

I’m hosting a couples baby shower in a few weeks, and one of the guests is very religious. My husband suggests I hang the artwork somewhere else or hide it for the party. I don’t feel I should have to redecorate a room in my own home. Am I being unreasonable, or should I find a less provocative piece of art to hang for our more conservative guests?

Fine Art Lover

Dear Fine Art Lover: While your home is your castle, surely you want your friends and family to be comfortable in it while they visit you.

Years ago, I bought an original work of art by Patrick Oliphant titled “Naked Nixon,” which I hung over the toilet in my powder room. While entertaining guests I knew were politically conservative, I switched it out for a print of long-stemmed flowers. If you know there’s a possibility someone will be offended while using a room that’s a “necessity,” the polite thing to do would be to listen to your husband.

Dear Abby: We invited friends over for dinner. Because they have toddlers who like to eat early, we started meal preparations accordingly. One hour before they were to arrive, the wife canceled because her daughter was “cranky.” She said she wanted to reschedule for two days later. Since the food was already prepared, we now have leftovers that will last for days.

I don’t want to go shopping again because I feel like she already stood us up, and I know she can’t host us for now because she lives with her parents. What’s proper notice when canceling a dinner date? How should we as hosts handle her request to come over a different day, especially so close to the event?

Miffed After Dinner

Dear Miffed: Because she lives with her parents, your guest could have left her cranky daughter with “Nana” and “Poppy.” Barring illness, the “proper” time to cancel would have been before you bought groceries for the dinner. However, with small children, things do happen, so be forgiving. Because she’s a good friend, put the food you prepared in the fridge for two days and serve it when she shows up. (It may taste better after the flavors meld.)

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.