Dear Abby: American society has become ultra-casual in dress and manners. When I look at old photographs, men and women used to dress better and seemed to take more pride in their appearance. I feel we are a nation of slobs.
Are we doomed to be this way in the future? I work in an office of slobs, and everyone knows I dislike the "casual atmosphere," so don't print my name.
-- Dressed for Success in Albuquerque
Dear Dressed for Success: You are correct. People did dress differently in the 1950s, which took time, effort and money. Things started changing in the '60s -- when the next generation became the demographic that was being marketed to. After that, younger people began adopting the "grunge chic" they were seeing in music videos.
Are we doomed to be this way forever? I think so, unless there's a reactionary fashion revolution. Frankly, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
But before labeling your co-workers as slobs, please remember that they were hired looking the way they do, and if your employer didn't approve of their appearance, there would be a dress code that is strictly enforced.
Children acting insensitive
Dear Abby: I have four adult children. I was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago. But it was detected early, and my prognosis is excellent. They keep making comments about their "inheritance." An example: "Take care of that painting -- it's my inheritance." Dealing with the cancer is stressful, but their comments make me feel terrible. What can I say to shut them up?
-- Not Going Anywhere Yet
Dear Not Going Anywhere Yet: Allow me to offer a few suggestions:
"Stop hanging crepe because I'm not dying."
"Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."
"I will, because I've decided to donate it to a museum."