DEAR ABBY: Last night at a restaurant, my husband and I were surprised to see a male server wearing a blond wig and full makeup. I was, to say the least, shocked and very glad we hadn't brought the children, ages 11 and 14, with us. How do you explain something like that to an 11-year-old? The 14-year-old would be able to "get it."
What kind of policies are in place for restaurants in cases like this? What if customers are offended? Could I request a different server or just leave? Your comments would be appreciated. -- TAKEN ABACK IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TAKEN ABACK: In California, people have the legal right to dress in a style not typical of their gender without fear of discrimination or retaliation. That right is protected by state law. If customers find it offensive, they can either request a different server or take their business elsewhere. Presumably, the customer would pay for food that had already been prepared.
Because children today grow up quickly and are less sheltered than in past decades, I recommend you explain to your 11-year-old that not all people are alike, and the importance of treating others with respect. It's called reality.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Shane," and I have been together more than a year. My problem lies in child support issues.
I'm a college student and full-time employee at a major company. I make a pretty good living considering my age. Shane is an electrician, and half of every paycheck he earns is going to his child's mother. I understand the money is being given to support the child, but every time we see him, the kid says his mommy is broke.
Because my boyfriend's check is half gone by the time he brings it home, I must pick up the slack regarding the bills. Shane helps out any way he can, but it's never enough, so I have to step in.
I love him, he treats me like a queen and I have yet to have a major problem with him. But it's the money situation. I feel a little guilty for feeling this way. What do I do in this situation? Please help. -- FEELING GUILTY IN COLORADO
DEAR FEELING GUILTY: Stop feeling guilty. Your feelings are natural considering that Shane isn't carrying his half of the load he shares with you financially. Talk to him about the way the inequity is making you feel because if you don't, your resentment will only grow. He may need to find a second job so you have to "step in" less often. The alternative is to accept that the present will also be your future.
DEAR ABBY: I have a pet peeve -- people who make a big production out of yawning. It's not enough to just yawn quietly. Noooo, they have to open wide, not cover their mouth and moan loudly. It annoys the heck out of me and I'm not sure it's appropriate to say anything.
People who do this seem to have several yawns in succession and want to make sure everyone notices. Any suggestions other than to grin and bear it? -- SEEKING QUIET IN GEORGIA
DEAR SEEKING QUIET: Yes. If it's happening socially say, "I can see you're getting tired, so maybe it's time to end this visit." If it's happening at work, suggest the person take a break and go outside for some fresh air.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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