Straight Talk Advice

May 13, 2009

Babysitter’s cleavage invites trouble

DEAR STRAIGHT TALK: I’m 15 and what you call “well-endowed”. I have been babysitting for a family down the street since I was 13. The parents divorced shortly after I started, and the father (“Jon”) moved out and I haven’t seen him for awhile. Last night, after I’d put the kids to bed, Jon let himself into the house with a key and said he wanted to see the kids. When I told him they were asleep, he got this weird look on his face, looked straight at my cleavage and said, “Do you have a boyfriend? I felt my face turn bright red. Thankfully, “Sophia”, the mother, pulled up right then so that was the end of it. Then Sophia, who usually drives me home if it’s dark, told Jon to drive me home Nothing happened, but it was really uncomfortable and neither of us spoke. What should I do? It’s not like he did anything. Some of my friends would have even been flattered because Jon is really hot. Don’t tell me to tell my mom. I just want to know what to do if he comes over again. — Creeped-out in Dixon, CA

Nicole 19, Arcata, CA Ask me a question

If you think men looking at you is bad now, it only gets worse. Rule of thumb: if a man looks at your breasts and you don’t mind, he’s probably harmless; if you feel unsafe, follow your instincts. If that means quitting, do it.

Lennon 22, Fair Oaks, CA Ask me a question

Girls are crazy to show cleavage and not expect men to look. It’s like a guy in a Speedo expecting girls not to look down. Looking should not be a form of sexual abuse, especially when the cleavage is just there. Regardless, you should err on the side of safety. If you were my daughter, I’d want to know about it.

Peter 21, Monterey, CA Ask me a question

If you won’t talk to your mother, talk to your client. Sophia needs to know about conditions affecting her household. Plus, she used to be Jon’s wife and should know how to handle it. If she doesn’t take protective steps, quit.

Emily 16, Sacramento, CA Ask me a question

Tell Sophia you’re concerned Jon may barge in and do something with the kids you may not approve of. You, as caregiver, have the responsibility to eliminate anything threatening. Ask Sophia to take Jon’s key.

Elise 17, Fair Oaks, CA Ask me a question

If he comes in again, stay far away from him and keep conversation light and clear. If he makes you feel uncomfortable or tries to touch you in any way, walk home. Also, if this happens again, you MUST tell your mom or some other adult.

Jennifer 15, Sacramento, CA Ask me a question

A friend and I both babysit at different times for the same family. She wears a double D. The dad transports us and always talks inappropriately about intimate subjects such as his divorce. Nothing ever happens, but there’s definitely a weird vibe. Here’s what to do: Tell Sophia she can’t allow Jon to come over when you’re there. If he comes in again with his key, call 911 and say you thought someone was breaking in. If he knocks, tell him through the door that guests aren’t allowed while Sophia is out. But, seriously, why show cleavage on the job My friend covers it, so can you.

DEAR CREEPED-OUT: In an ideal world, everyone should get to wear what they like, but as you’re finding out, revealing too much skin in the real world isn’t the most intelligent dressing style. Each panelist has good advice, and if communicating with Sophia gets you nowhere, do what Jennifer says: call 911 if Jon “breaks in” again. And NEVER EVER get in a car with a man when your instincts tell you not to.

  1. By Diane Moore, age , from Newport Beach, CA on 06/04/2009

    I would like to comment on the column about the babysitter and the ex-husband. 2 of your teens recommended she call 911 and say he is breaking in. As a 911 dispatcher I want to tell her to please call 911 but don’t make up a story. Tell the dispatcher exactly what is going on and that you are scared of him.. You will still get a officer and you will get some good advice until help arrives. You want to be the one telling the truth, not the one lying to the police.

    Reply to this comment

  2. By Trisha Gillis, age , from Laguna Nigel, CA on 06/04/2009

    Lauren, I am not a teen. But I felt so strongly about one letter published in the Straight Talk column titled “Client’s Sexual Overtone …” that I had to let you know how disturbing it is that you let it pass and apparently even endorsed it.

    “Emily” advises Creeped Out to “Tell Sophia you’re concerned Jon may barge in and do something with the kids you may not approve of.” Aside from the obvious immaturity of that kind of malicious misdirection, can you imagine the kind of trouble such a lie would lead to? No one, in this day and age, could interpret that as anything but an indication of potential incest/molestation/violence: the mother would be frantic, the dad furious and incredulous, and eventually the babysitter would be forced to own up to the truth anyway.

    I simply felt it was either 1) not wise of you to include that letter, and/or 2) incredibly poor judgment on your part to “blanket-endorse” it with your general statement “each panelist has good advice”.

    Please, use your platform to add a level of maturity and perspective that teens, wise and sophisticated as they are in many ways, simply do not have yet. And thanks for listening – to them, as well as to me!

    Reply to this comment

  3. By Graham, 15, age , from Fair Oaks, CA on 06/15/2009

    Make sure John knows he’s stepping over the line in a polite way. If that doesn’t work, just ignore it. If at all possible, make sure that you are alone with John as little as possible. If it gets worse, you can always stop working there or tell his wife… I don’t know the family but that might clear things up.

    Reply to this comment

Comment Form

Straight Talk Advice readers are known for their frank and constructive posts that lead to insightful conversations that help many people! Please keep these guidelines in mind when posting:

  • Be constructive: Needlessly cruel or obscene comments will probably be removed. Be conscious of this so your point can be heard.
  • Be relevant: Spam or senseless character attacks irrelevant to the discussion will also probably be removed.

Happy posting!

Straight Talk Advice Recommends