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Reader finds bare skin unbearable

Dear Abby: Over the last year, I have noticed cleavage everywhere. It's in the middle and high schools, the teller waiting on me at the bank, the cashier at the supermarket and department stores -- all offering plunging frontal views. I can't believe management allows this, and for the younger women, I can't believe their parents permit it. These females look like they're dressed for a romantic evening, not as employees of reputable businesses or students.

Am I just getting old or has this become acceptable? I would like to stop doing business with these companies, but if I do I'll have no place to shop. What's your opinion?

-- Can't Believe My Eyes, Ulster Park, N.Y.

Dear Can't Believe My Eyes: Are you just noticing this? It has been happening for years. And I'm not referring only to the amount of cleavage women are showing. Haven't you noticed how much that's showing "south of the border" on females and males?

Many businesses have dress codes -- and if enough customers complain or take their business elsewhere, managers might adhere to them. As to the students -- most schools have dress codes, but whether the rules are enforced is another matter entirely.

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No laughing matter

Dear Abby: Do you think it's appropriate to laugh when someone inadvertently falls -- especially if it's unclear whether the individual is hurt?

I have never found it amusing to see someone fall. Instead, I feel concern. Some of my friends think that laughing is not only the appropriate response, but "necessary" to help ease the embarrassment of the individual who has fallen. Who's right?

-- Compassionate Witness in Seattle

Dear Compassionate: You are. And watch out for those "friends" because they either lack maturity or empathy -- or both.

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