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Ask Fred

Dear Fred;
My hoyty-toyty insist that wearing flannel to a special occasion (or any occasion, for that matter) is a major fashion faux pas... I feel otherwise.
What's your take?
Rick from Newbury

Hoyty-toyty, for darn sure. Flannel is always in fashion. Next thing you know, he-she-it (not sure exactly what a hoyty-toyty is, since you're using it as a noun and not an adjective) will be saying suspenders are out of style. Be your own man, Rick. March to the beat of your own drum. Faux pas, shmaux pas.

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Birth of a Notion

My friend Joe B. (I won't identify him further, in case he needs to deny it later) send in the following suggestion:

"Have you ever thought of opening up an online advice column? The world would greatly benefit from your sound Yankee wisdom."

Well, Joe, I hadn't. And it remains to be seen how the world would respond. But seeing as I don't have much else to do, I may just give it a whirl.

So, if you're desperate enough to ask me for advice, I'm willing to help. Click here to drop me a line with your dilemma, question, or vexing social conundrum. I'll pick and choose the best questions--if any--along with my responses.