DEAR AMY: I am a 15-year-old girl, and I am partial to a particular brand of clothing.
My best friend's mother does not like this brand of clothing because she does not agree with its advertising methods.
Often when she sees me wearing this brand of clothing, she tells me that I should "rip off the tag" or take the signature "evil scent" off my clothes.
This is a regular occurrence in public and has happened at both my home and my friend's house.
My clothes don't have any obscene graphics or inappropriate quotes on them; it's the brand that she doesn't like.
I am uncomfortable with her remarks but am unsure of how to politely tell her so and ask her to stop.
Do you have any suggestions?
— Happy With What I Wear
DEAR HAPPY: I vote for staying quiet when your friend's mom makes comments about your clothing. Sometimes, not responding is a polite response, and being quiet lets another person's words just hang out there, dangling in the breeze.
If your friend's mom asks you a direct question or asks you why you aren't responding, you can say, "I don't really know what to say. I like my clothes, and my folks are fine with this brand."
She might choose to explain that she finds the advertisements for this brand suggestive or offensive. If you don't agree with her, then say so, and the two of you can discuss your views.
If she says she is offended by something specific having to do with your clothing (other than the company that manufactures it), you should try not to wear those particular garments when spending time in her presence.
DEAR AMY: I recently hosted a bachelorette party for my great friend "Brett's" fiancee, "Barb."
The bride's maid of honor lives out of state and couldn't be on hand to host, so I did.
The bride provided a list of 10 guests (I knew none of these women), and I organized an elegant and fun evening. It was a bit pricey, but everyone graciously accepted their expenses and split the bill for the bride.
Those who attended had a great time, except the bride, who was stiff and awkward throughout the evening.
The following day, I understood some of her discomfort.
She e-mailed a "thank you" to her friends, in which she essentially apologized for not being able to invite everyone who came to the party to the wedding.
I was mortified; I had no idea she provided a list of people not invited to the wedding, and I invited each of them, assuming that the bride would draw up a guest list for her bachelorette party from her wedding invite list.
I feel that I should apologize to these women for the whole evening but don't know where to begin.
The bride has yet to thank me for pulling the evening together. I don't want to appear as gauche as the bride. Any suggestions?
— Graceless in Seattle
DEAR GRACELESS: "Barb" owes you an explanation for your role in her faux pas. She has screwed up and now needs to find a way to admit it and apologize in a way that doesn't make things worse.
If you don't hear from her soon, you could contact her to say, "Barb, I hope you had fun the other night. I was happy to organize this event for you, but I had no idea that these women wouldn't also be included in your wedding. I'm a little embarrassed by asking them to assume the expense for this evening and wonder if you have any suggestions for the best way for me to apologize to your friends."
DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the issue of how to respond when someone says, "You look tired." How about changing this query to, "You seem tired"? This makes a statement more about the person's demeanor than appearance.
DEAR DIANA: Generally, people don't like to be told that they don't look good — or that they don't seem well.
If someone is truly concerned, an open-ended question might be best.
I prefer, "How are you doing?" or, "How are you feeling?"
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