Advice on manners and morals.

Advice on manners and morals.

Advice on manners and morals.

Advice on manners and morals.
Jan. 12 2006 6:52 AM

Breast Intentions

Can I tell my brother's fiancee to wear a bra?

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Dear Prudence,
My brother is engaged to a delightful, bright, attractive woman who does not wear a bra. She has very small breasts, so it's not as if she is falling out of her shirts, but she is always "nippling" (as they say). I don't believe she is trying to be provocative, but after she and my brother leave large social gatherings, there is often talk of the prominent nipple outline she displayed. This upsets me because a) I truly like her, and don't want people to remember her for her chest area, and b) it can be very distracting when one is talking to her; it makes men uncomfortable to see, and it makes our wives even more uncomfortable for their men to see. In general, I don't feel it's anyone's place to criticize another person's attire, but I wonder if there is a tactful way to send a message that we'd appreciate seeing a bit less of her.

—Getting an Eyeful

Dear Get,
Prudie was surprised by two things in your letter: the new word she learned, and that the letter writer was a man! There really is talk that people have trouble averting their gaze from this woman's shirt? In this day and age of letting it all hang out, fashionwise, it is a little unusual to find that a small-busted woman going braless is a distraction. In any case, if you feel you must try to get this woman into a bra, your best bet would be to tell your brother that he might want to suggest underthings to his fiancee because, as things are now, she makes it difficult for people to maintain eye contact. Be prepared for him to tell you to mind your own business.

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—Prudie, figuratively

Dear Prudie,
As I was getting ready for bed, my husband's computer started making weirder noises than usual. I turned it off, then back on to make sure it was working. It seemed to be hanging up, so I pushed the refresh button (I thought), but it was actually the history button. I was surprised to see a number of escort sites in a city that he's visited a lot. It was strange, because I check the cell minutes periodically to make sure we have plenty, and noticed a number of local calls in this city. I checked further, and they were to escort services. When I confronted my husband he got very upset (we have been married for 30 years) and couldn't believe that I would think he would do such things. He claimed he looked at a couple porn spam e-mails and they must have set themselves up as favorites. He also claimed he never called the phone numbers in question; said someone else was doing that. My questions are: 1) How stupid am I if I believe any of this? 2) Is it possible for someone else to use your cell-phone number to make calls? 3) How likely is it that the history feature would show, erroneously, that one escort site was visited 294 times? So, I need help in deciphering some of this high-tech stuff about what is and is not possible. It is alarming to believe this of my husband of 30 years, but then, how astounding was it for the woman who woke up to find that her husband was the BTK killer?

—Shell Shocked

Dear Shell,
Prudie is not surprised that your husband was shocked, shocked, that all these incriminating technical glitches were happening to him. In answer to your first question, "gullible" is a better word than "stupid." The answer to your second is no; in order to use your cell phone number, someone would have to use your cell phone. Regarding the third question, it is technically possible due to adware and embedded programs. However, too many things here spell out e-s-c-o-r-t s-e-r-v-i-c-e-s. Your spouse sounds like the man whose wife catches him in bed with another woman, but he denies everything. His challenge to her is, "Who are you going to believe—me or your own eyes?" Prudie does not know what you would do if you decided your suspicions were correct, but whatever it is, you should probably start doing it.

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—Prudie, reluctantly

Hi Prudie,
A dear friend and co-worker, "Randi," is engaged and planning her wedding. While talking over lunch a few days ago, she said she'd decided who she wanted in the wedding party. She went on to tell me that I am such a good friend, so organized, detail oriented, careful etc., that she knew she could trust me with certain things on the day of the wedding, and thus she wanted me to take the role of "personal attendant." As she described everything she wanted me to be responsible for, I honestly felt like she'd just punched me in the stomach and I was being penalized for being the most competent of her friends. She said it would be up to me to make sure the wedding party came in on time, the dinner was being served on time, make sure the DJ was starting every song on cue, make sure that every aspect of the wedding would go according to schedule. I'm torn. I love Randi dearly and want to be there for her on her big day, but the more I think about the responsibilities, the more I'm dreading it. I could never ask a friend to take responsibility for all she's asked of me. I can't help but feel let down. Help!

—Truly Disappointed

Dear Tru,
There are bridesmaids, and then there are wedding planners. We do not have ladies-in-waiting in this country. Randi is asking far too much of someone who is a bridesmaid. Tell her this is above your pay grade. Well, actually, don't say that, but tell her you do not feel up to the task and you are sorry to disappoint her.

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—Prudie, reasonably

Prudence,
I am a 28-year-old, well-educated woman. The small company I work for is growing and recently hired a new manager in a separate department from mine. I do not work directly for this man, but I do have some interaction with him. I can deal with his winking at me like we're old buddies because I get the feeling he thinks that's how to relate, and he does it with all the staff—except his superiors. What I cannot handle is his calling me "hon" or "honey" when thanking me for something. I'm far from being a feminist, but I find his tone incredibly belittling. He's only a few years older than me and doesn't qualify for the reminds-me-of-my-grandfather exemption when making such an unprofessional remark. No other men in the office speak like this to any of the women. I'm tempted to say something like, "You're welcome, Sweet Cheeks!" but I'm not sure how that would go over. Please advise.

—Sweet but No One's Honey

Dear Sweet,
This is perhaps a generational thing ... at least on the receiving end, because Prudie both calls people "honey" and is not offended when people call her by that name. Sometimes this bit of conversational familiarity is meant to be friendly, and occasionally it simply means the other person cannot remember your name! This second possibility seems unlikely in your case. If you feel the need to put a stop to this soubriquet because it annoys you, tell this chap politely that you don't find "honey" a suitable name for the office and you'd appreciate it if he called you by your given name. Prudie thinks the "sweet cheeks" retort would not be a good idea.

—Prudie, moderately