Col­league out­grows Fri­day Hawai­ian shirt tra­di­tion

The Mercury (Pottstown, PA) - - FEATURES - — Sole tai­lored shirt in Texas — Pos­si­bly home alone in Iowa Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

DEAR ABBY >> I started work­ing in en­gi­neer­ing in the late 1980s and thought it was “cute” that we all wore Hawai­ian shirts when the guys went out for Fri­day lunches. Now we’re in our 50s, and many of my peers still honor that tra­di­tion.

I no longer find it cute. In fact, I’m find­ing it em­bar­rass­ing be­cause men over 50 — es­pe­cially cur­mud­geonly en­gi­neers — should not be wear­ing Hawai­ian shirts. They look like hor­ri­ble Caribbean cruise ship tourists. In ad­di­tion, their fa­vorite lunch des­ti­na­tions are usu­ally in a part of town where there’s a big univer­sity, and they add the el­e­ment of creepi­ness by ogling the young co­eds.

I find my­self hid­ing or in­vent­ing meet­ings so I can avoid be­ing part of this Fri­day cir­cus of em­bar­rass­ment. How do I just tell them that the rea­son I no longer go along is their cur­mud­geonly dis­plays of creepi­ness? DEAR SOLE >> There’s no way to po­litely tell your co-work­ers their at­tire and the way they com­port them­selves is an em­bar­rass­ment. Say in­stead that these lunches “aren’t your thing” any­more.

It would be a kind­ness to diplo­mat­i­cally point out that their ogling is in­ap­pro­pri­ate. Hope they take the hint, but don’t be sur­prised if you hear that some of the co­eds com­plained to the man­agers of the restau­rants, and your pals have been asked to take their lunches else­where.

DEAR ABBY >> My hus­band’s par­ents live in Viet­nam. He has de­cided to take a two-to-three­week trip there soon — at a time when it’s im­pos­si­ble for me to ac­com­pany him be­cause I’m a school­teacher. The pur­pose of the trip is to at­tend a cousin’s wed­ding and visit his par­ents.

We have known each other eight years and have been mar­ried for one year. He al­ways talked about tak­ing me to Viet­nam so I could see where he was born and sight­see with him. But now he is choos­ing to go at a time when I can­not, and us­ing his cousin’s wed­ding as his ex­cuse to “need” to make the trip. (He didn’t think it was nec­es­sary to at­tend this cousin’s older brother’s wed­ding a few years ago.) I sug­gested he wait un­til sum­mer to visit, when I’d be free to travel with him.

I feel his go­ing with­out me is a neg­a­tive com­men­tary on his feel­ings for me and our mar­riage. He doesn’t see it that way at all. What is your opin­ion? DEAR POS­SI­BLY HOME >> Your hus­band may feel closer to the cousin who is be­ing mar­ried than to the older brother whose wed­ding he skipped. In my opin­ion, you are tak­ing his de­ci­sion to at­tend this wed­ding much too per­son­ally. I also think you should be a bet­ter sport about the fact you can’t join him, and im­press upon him that you are look­ing for­ward to the time he CAN take you to his home coun­try so you can see where he grew up and en­joy the “grand tour” he promised.

Dear Abby

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