DEAR ABBY: The standard form of greeting in the West is a handshake. But this can lead to transmission of germs.

Being from India, I use the standard form of Indian greeting by holding my palms together, which is very hygienic. (By the way, many South Asian countries have the same custom of greeting.)

You might consider passing the word along because I'm sure your readers could understand the benefit of such a gesture &

particularly during the cold and flu season.

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SUNITHA IN KUWAIT

DEAR SUNITHA: I'm pleased to pass the word along. Your practical suggestion is a good one and something I have used myself. All you do is place your palms together, thumbs up at chest height. The friendly message it sends is clear when it's done with a smile.

DEAR ABBY: I recently landed a dream job as a nanny for a wealthy family. When I say "wealthy," it's probably an understatement. These people have a big-screen theater in their home, a personal trainer over here four times a week, matching Lexus SUVs, gadgets galore and the biggest refrigerator I have ever seen &

not to mention the countless other real estate properties they have in California, Aspen and New York.

Coming from a more consumer-conscious background, I grew up recycling and shopping at thrift stores. I use alternate forms of transportation and refuse to "keep up with the Joneses."

How do I get this family, especially the children, to recycle, donate and think globally (i.e. sweatshops and child labor) without coming off as preachy? They are nice people, but these things have never been a part of their universe.

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RECYCLIN' IN COLORADO

DEAR RECYCLIN': Your employers appear to be comfortably ensconced in their lifestyle bubble, which is an alternate reality from most of ours. However, you can positively influence the thinking of their children, and the most effective way to do it is to teach them by example.

DEAR ABBY: I discovered a video camera recording me on the toilet in my brother-in-law's bathroom. When I confronted him, he said he was trying to photograph his wife and he had "forgotten" that my four children and I were coming over. Even though the tape had been recording for an hour before his wife was due home from work, I couldn't "prove" anything, so I let it go.

More recently I have learned he's been asking a close friend of ours some very personal questions, and asking for pictures of her various body parts.

My husband doesn't want to hurt his sister and has asked me not to say anything. So now I have to have the creep over at our house for family get-togethers and pretend I like him so she doesn't ask questions. Also, my children want to sleep over at their house, and I have to keep making up excuses. What do I do?

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GOING CRAZY IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR GOING CRAZY: Your mistake &

and your husband's &

was in keeping this from your sister-in-law because it is not just her husband's problem; it is also hers. Your brother-in-law's fetish is creepy, possibly illegal and a huge invasion of privacy. Your children should not visit their home unless closely supervised by you or their father. Their safety is more important than your sister-in-law's "feelings." So speak up!

DEAR ABBY: I have two adult sons living at home, ages 22 and 24. Both are working. I have recently retired, and my income has become half of what it was before. I told my sons that if they are to continue living here, they must pay room and board of $30 a week or find a place to live with the amenities they have here.

They are now ranting and raving and calling me a bad mother. Am I being unreasonable? I feel I have provided my sons with a good life, and it is now time for them to take some responsibility for their own support. It's time to grow up. Am I wrong?

My oldest son says he refuses to help me pay my mortgage! I told him to either pay the $120 a month or try to find a cheaper place to live. Any thoughts on this?

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STRESSED-OUT MOM, LAKE VIEW, N.Y.

DEAR STRESSED OUT: You're making perfect sense to me. If your older boy was not centered so much on himself and his wants (notice, I didn't say "needs"), he would realize that you have made him a generous offer.

Because of your diminished income, of COURSE there is no question that your sons should contribute to the household expenses. It's possible they won't realize what a good deal they've been having until they try to match it in the real world. Stand your ground, Mom, and don't take any back talk.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married four years. During that time we have had three children. Our youngest was born three months ago with various medical problems including heart defects, enlarged kidneys, hearing problems and Down syndrome.

To top it off, I have recently been diagnosed with cancer. I start radiation and chemo next month. I am stressed to say the least, and being intimate with my husband right now is at the bottom of my list of things I need to do.

My husband is having a problem understanding why I am not interested in sex. He takes it personally when I don't accept his advances. I love him very much, and I'm grateful for everything he does for me and the kids, but right now I have no interest in sex. How can I get through to him without hurting his feelings? And how do I stop the advances so I don't feel so guilty?

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STRESSED IN WISCONSIN

DEAR STRESSED: Excuse me? You've had three children in four years, you're caring for a newborn with physical and developmental disabilities and you're beginning treatment for a life-threatening illness. Frankly, I'm surprised you are still standing.

If necessary, drag your spouse to your OB/GYN, your pediatrician and your oncologist. Your husband may be the father of three, but he needs to learn the facts of life &

the first of which is that right now, you are physically and emotionally distracted and unable to perform as he would wish.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I recently attended a lovely party at a home with two baby grand pianos. One of the guests &

I'll call her "Sophie" &

is an accomplished pianist, and she dearly wanted to sit down and play.

We encouraged her but she refused, stating that the host and hostess might not appreciate having their party interrupted. Should Sophie have asked permission, or would that have created undue pressure on the hostess?

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DAVID IN CUPERTINO, CALIF.

DEAR DAVID: It depends on the hosts. Some would welcome it; others might not. Sophie was correct to refrain from playing the piano without being asked to. It could have, indeed, been disruptive. And if either (or both) of the hosts is a serious musician, many musicians prefer that their instruments not be played by someone else.

Dear Abby is written by , also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.