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Why Can't I Wear Political Attire at Work?

作者:admin 2020-10-03

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Credit...Christoph Niemann

My husband and I live in New York but decamped to the suburbs to stay with my mother-in-law for the summer and fall. It’s been a godsend. (We were cooped up and driving each other crazy in our apartment.) But it came to a dramatic halt when my mother-in-law’s neighbor invited us over. My husband and I assumed it would be a small outdoor gathering. But the neighbor had invited 70 people! When we saw the crowd, mostly without masks, we refused to go in and told my mother-in-law we thought it was unsafe. She went anyway. We returned to the city the next day and told her that we wouldn’t come back for two weeks, pending the assurance that she would behave safely while we’re gone. She agreed. But what if she doesn’t?


For a couple of long-term moochers, you certainly are free with your demands. I’m glad you didn’t go to the party, of course; it sounded unsafe. If your mother-in-law is like mine, though, she may have felt guilty not going after saying she would. (It doesn’t make sense to me, either!) Or maybe she’s reckless.

Going forward, stop making assumptions. Have a respectful discussion with your mother-in-law about the safety precautions to which she will commit, including at social events. If they’re acceptable to you and your husband, go back. If not, settle in for a cooped-up winter in the city.

I was running late for a dental appointment. I was going to bike there, which would have made me even later. But my roommate offered to give me a ride. (I didn’t ask.) On the way there, she got a speeding ticket. And that night, she presented it to me as if it were my responsibility to pay. I think that’s absurd! I didn’t speed. Thoughts?


It’s true that the choice to speed was your roommate’s. And as a general matter, the person behind the wheel is responsible for driving mishaps.

But surely you also see that, were it not for you and your dental appointment, your roommate would not have been driving the car that fateful day. This argues (to me) for picking up the ticket as a gesture of thanks or making your roommate a counteroffer to split the fine. Does that sound less absurd to you?

My nephew planned to be married in a big ceremony in October. For safety reasons, the couple decided to wed privately on the scheduled date and postpone the big celebration until October 2021. So, when do we give our gift: now or at the party next year?


These are tough times for people missing their big day. Still, I commend the bridal couple for putting the safety of their guests first. I would send a token gift now with a warm note letting them know you’re thinking of them, and bring your real gift to the party. Or reverse the gift order, if you like, but send the note now. I bet they’re really disappointed.

For help with your awkward situation, send a question to, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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