DEAR ABBY: Last night at a restaurant, my husband and I were surprised to see a male server wearing a blond wig and full makeup. I was, to say the least, shocked and very glad we hadn't brought the children, ages 11 and 14, with us. How do you explain something like that to an 11-year-old? The 14-year-old would be able to "get it."
What kind of policies are in place for restaurants in cases like this? What if customers are offended? Could I request a different server or just leave? Your comments would be appreciated. -- TAKEN ABACK IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TAKEN ABACK: In California, people have the legal right to dress in a style not typical of their gender without fear of discrimination or retaliation. That right is protected by state law. If customers find it offensive, they can either request a different server or take their business elsewhere. Presumably, the customer would pay for food that had already been prepared.
Because children today grow up quickly and are less sheltered than in past decades, I recommend you explain to your 11-year-old that not all people are alike, and the importance of treating others with respect. It's called reality.