I’m sorry if this is offensive, because I consider myself a sincere gentleman. I mean it. I open doors for ladies, watch my language, and read comic books. But the truth is — and I can hardly say it — my mother-in-law just saw me naked.

Don’t make me repeat myself.

It happened just a few minutes ago, right in my own house, and I’m traumatized. I’ve got a lot of unpleasant feelings swimming inside me at the moment. Some of which date back to middle-school gym showers.

The truth is, I can’t explain how it happened. All I know is: one moment I’m waltzing across my empty house, enjoying the invigorating January air. Then WAM, a peeping-thomasina is in my kitchen.

“Miss Mary!” I squealed — but in a masculine tone. “How’d you get in here?”

“I have a key, ding-a-ling.”

“Please don’t use that word.”

She handed me a stack of envelopes. “I brought your mail.”

And since I have a knack for saying intelligent things, I answered, “But Miss Mary, I’m naked.”

She agreed.

Without uttering another word, I trotted to the bedroom. One hand covering my unmentionables, the other shielding the region where the Good Lord split me.

The thing is, a man’s house is his sanctuary. Mother-in-laws can’t just pop in for half-price peepshows whenever the mood strikes. There are laws against this sort of thing.

In some countries, they would’ve already deported her. She’s lucky we live in America, or she’d be assembling jack-in-the-boxes in a sweat shop. Because Canadians have zero-tolerance policies on nudity crimes.

I suppose I don’t know what happens now that Mary has seen the real me. What will the holidays be like? Say, Thanksgiving with the family? Who prays the blessing? It can’t be me, and it sure as hell can’t be her.

Isn’t it sad how something like an innocent pair of white hindcheeks can rip a family apart? I’d like to know where two traumatized people go from here.

Mary suggested we go for drinks and dinner.