DEAR HARRIETTE: I read the article about scrubs being worn outside of the hospital and had to clarify a few things.
For the most part, scrubs that are worn in environments where they can become contaminated, such as an operating room, are not allowed out of the department. These scrubs are provided by the facility, and they are changed into upon arrival and out of upon departure.
When workers are not in a contagion environment, they wear their own scrubs to work, and therefore may be seen coming and going in scrubs. They may also dine out or run errands in scrubs.
I am not a health-care worker, but I am a representative of a worldwide surgical supply company. I am often running from one facility to the next every day to cover surgical cases. It is wonderful that our company allows us on a busy day to don scrubs rather than business attire if we wish. I don't do this frequently, but I know many reps who wear scrubs every day.
They are comfortable and easy. They are clean, and we change into facility-owned scrubs when we enter the operating room. We also wear a hat and shoe covers. When we leave the facility, we change back into our own scrubs and take off our shoe covers and hats.
My point is that "Curious" is most likely seeing people wearing their own clean scrubs. As far as wearing them to a formal event, this is no different from someone wearing sweats to a formal event. It's not the most professional judgment call, but most likely the scrubs are not contaminated. -- Scrubs Fan, Chicago
DEAR SCRUBS FAN: Thank you for your letter. Many people wrote in to share similar sentiments. I will add that ever since I got that letter, I have noticed many people wearing scrubs as fashion.
This trend reminds me of another odd fashion choice of late -- namely, wearing pajamas as street wear, all the way down to the slippers. To each his own?
DEAR HARRIETTE: After 20 years, I have recently rekindled a love I didn't know was even still there. I recently found and started speaking to an ex-boyfriend over Facebook. We had been talking on and off once in awhile, and then recently in discussion, we realized we both still felt strongly for each other.
I'm happy about that, but the only issue is that he is in the process of going through a really bad divorce. I partially feel that I am either becoming the rebound woman, or the woman who has somehow fueled him to not want to rekindle his relationship. Should I continue forward with my feelings, or should I give him and his relationship space to clear up? -- Boundaries, Miami
DEAR BOUNDARIES: Tell him you care about him and don't want to be in the middle of his divorce. Suggest that you step back until he handles his business. Then do so. If you two are meant to be together, a pause of whatever length should not be too long.