DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a 39-year-old single father with a beautiful 4-year-old girl. I would like to know what is proper etiquette for taking my daughter shopping for clothes and then having her try them on in a fitting room.
Last time, I went to the women’s dressing room, but I didn’t know if I should go in. There were moms sitting down waiting for their children to come out of rooms. My child still needs a little help.
GENTLE READER: Although the 4-year-olds of Miss Manners’ acquaintance are aware that their classmates come in different flavors, they generally attach less significance to this than, to take one example, the distinction between strawberry and vanilla.
The existence of these same children suggests that their parents are more aware of the consequences of gender differentiation. It is therefore the gender of the parent, not the child, that determines which dressing room to use. If your daughter needs help trying on her dress in a shared changing room, the other fathers will accept her presence more readily than the motherswill accept yours. Individual dressing rooms, when available, should cause no surprises for anyone.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I live in Florida and have many family members visit throughout the year. Recently, some of our family came and stayed at our house for a few days. Because they didn’t fly, but drove, they weren’t sure when they were going to leave, but told us it would be sometime Thursday.
When we were having dinner Wednesday evening, we asked them if they had decided what time they were going to leave…
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