DEAR ABBY: A Montana wife asked you why her husband suddenly started to wear a tiny gold earring in his left ear. (She asked him and he refused to tell her.) You said you didn't know, but if she ever found out, to let you know.
I'm surprised that you didn't know, Abby. It means that he has become a member of the gay community. -- HEP IN OAKLAND
DEAR ABBY: That Montana husband probably wears a gold earring in his left ear for the same reason I have a gold tooth in front with a ruby in it. I like it! -- AN INDIVIDUAL
DEAR INDIVIDUAL: I'm with you. A person's right to be himself is one of our cherished freedoms, so why should a person have to "explain" his reason for it? It's HIS ear and HIS business, and as far as I know, wearing an earring is neither immoral nor illegal. But there seems to be a variety of opinions. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I'm a man who had his ears pierced four years ago, and you wouldn't believe the static I've had from people because of one little speck of gold the size of a pinhead!
I've been accused of being a homosexual, a latent transvestite and just plain weird. I assure you I am as average as most men.
I attend college and see more and more macho guys wearing earrings on campus. I don't know if there is any significance to wearing only one earring in the left ear. I wear mine there because I am right-handed and it's easier to put on. My buddy wears one in his right ear because it's not seen by the police if he's stopped for a traffic violation. Sign me ... PIERCED AND PROUD
DEAR ABBY: A sailor who has sailed three years on the coast of China wears a gold ring in his left ear to prove that he has been there. -- RETIRED CAPTAIN, AGE 80
DEAR ABBY: Men have worn earrings for centuries -- Shakespeare, Rembrandt and King James II, to name a few of the more prominent of them.
Ancient Greeks and Romans borrowed the custom from the Persian and Indian men. Our own American Indian braves also wore earrings. And how about the early African warriors? And the pirates?
Men wore earrings long before women did, so why all the ruckus? -- LIVE AND LET LIVE
DEAR ABBY: According to an ancient Chinese belief, the wearing of an earring in the left ear symbolizes that that person's life has been endangered, and to prevent a recurrence, an earring is worn. It is supposedly protection against bad luck. -- AUDREY IN SINGAPORE
DEAR ABBY: A man wears a gold earring in his left ear to let the world know that he has crossed the equator. -- OLD MARINER
DEAR ABBY: I am a man who wears a little gold earring in my left ear because of my religion.
I am a Buddist, and all Buddists wear one gold earring -- and always in the left ear.
I am surprised you didn't know that, Abby. -- A BUDDIST
DEAR BUDDHIST: And if you are really a Buddhist, I am surprised that you don't know how to spell "Buddhist."