Dear Amy: Last Saturday morning, my husband and I went to our favorite diner for breakfast.
A group of nine young ladies, ages 10 to 14, sat with two moms at a nearby table, celebrating a birthday.
Eventually we noticed what they were wearing. As they headed toward the bathroom in small groups, we noticed that they wore pajama bottoms and T-shirts.
One of the tallest girls (probably 5-foot-4) had on slippers and a bathrobe loosely hung over her night clothes.
The group was leaving together at the same time we were, and so I asked, “A pajama party?”
One mom proudly informed me, “They are Girl Scouts and we stole them from their beds!”
Amy! Since when is it appropriate to go to a restaurant in one’s pajamas?
I see many young people wearing plaid flannel bottoms in any and every public setting, which I regard as poor taste.
I give allowances for parents toting children under the age of five.
But a group of teenage girls in night attire in a public restaurant? I think the Girl Scouts organization tries to teach young ladies some etiquette, if I remember rightly.
If parents don’t teach children, and especially teens, how to groom themselves and act in a public place, they will assume that anything goes as they get older and have their own children.
What happened to respecting other people? — Grandma
Dear Grandma: Yes, what happened to respecting other people? For instance, you respecting this group of teens enough to appreciate that they are young, having fun, and — importantly — not necessarily in charge of their outfits on this particular morning, seeing as how they were rousted from their beds and spirited off to a diner. Perhaps you should have chastised the adults for permitting and promoting this attire.
This stunt sounds cute and fun, and a diner on a Saturday morning IS the appropriate venue for a bunch of bleary-eyed and bed-headed Girl Scouts.
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You don’t note any bothersome or disruptive behavior regarding this group, and so I assume that the Girl Scouts organization would be very happy to know that there are nine teens out there, gathering in a spirit of fun and fellowship on a Saturday morning.
Dear Amy: My sister recently gave me an expensive (gold and diamond) necklace. The piece was not something I would purchase for myself — or ever wear.
My mother previously gave me a piece of jewelry I would characterize in the same way.
Both my mother and sister gave the gift with the caveat that I must not change the piece in any way, by removing (or moving) elements.
Here’s how it goes: “I want you to have this, but I do not want you to change it at all.”
Amy, what do I do then? It is set up as a loving gesture for a “legacy” piece of jewelry. How would you say, “No thank you; I do not like this item you love so much and want to honor me with”?
My “out” is that both pieces are very fancy, and I do not dress that way. But I am getting married soon and the gift from my sister could be worn.
Oh, the dilemma! — Gifted
Dear Gifted: If you have accepted these pieces, along with the imposed limitations placed upon them, then I guess they will sit in a box until you are able to pass them along to someone else. You should be honest when expressing your gratitude: “It is so kind of you to give this to me, but ... you know me, I don’t wear things that are so fancy. Are you sure you want me to have it?”
You should not feel obligated to wear something you don’t like, but maybe there is a way to wear both pieces in a new way (perhaps wrapped around your wrist) for your wedding.
Dear Amy: “Worried Mother” wrote about her daughter, a med student, who was “forcibly groped” by a male fourth-year med student. The victim did not want to report it. Sexual harassment in medicine is sadly mainstream. The National Academies of Science estimates 50 percent of female physicians experience this during their training. This should be reported to the Title IX office, and the dean.
The culture won’t change without reporting. — Fellow Female Physician
Dear Physician: It is tricky to essentially force a victim to report, but I agree that the risks here are extreme, and she should be supported for reporting.