Col­league out­grows shirt tra­di­tion

The State (Sunday) - - Palmetto - BY JEANNE PHILLIPS Sole Tai­lored Shirt In Texas Con­tact Dear Abby at www.dearabby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

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.

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