Dear Carson: With summer approaching, the heat is rising over appropriate dress for the office. Some say no to shorts, short skirts and sleeveless shirts. Others say: "Hey, we're all adults. We can make appropriate decisions about how we dress."
Is there a dress code that I can pass on to my co-workers that might help people cool off? -- Heated Discussion
Dear Heat: The same sort of laxity that results from "casual Friday" may well result from a change of dress code for summer. Encourage your co-workers to change the fabrics they wear to work rather than the type of dress. Cord, seersucker and cotton are ideal fabrics. Jackets are especially handy because they can be removed. Shorts, mini skirts and sleeveless shirts are too unprofessional looking.
Dear Carson: My mother was widowed two years ago after being married to my father for 48 years. Now she has found someone she would like to marry. I really like this fellow and think they will be happy together.
There's one problem: She plans to have her wedding ring remade into a dinner ring. I feel my father gave this to her out of love and she should wear it as a token of love for him. She feels that it is her ring to do with as she pleases. She also feels it would not be proper for her to wear one man's wedding ring while married to another.
What do you think? -- Resists Redoing Ring
Dear Ring: I agree with your mother. Actually, she is choosing to continue to wear the ring as a token of her affection for your father, but in a proper way.
Dear Carson: I found your wonderful Web site and am hoping you can offer some guidance. My oldest friend's son is getting married next month, and my husband and I have been invited to the wedding. We live in England and can't attend, but I would like to send a monetary gift since I haven't a clue about the amount or whether a traditional gift would be more appropriate. My husband has never met the groom, and I haven't seen him since he was a child. What's the right thing to do? -- Perplexed in Nottingham, England
Dear Perplexed: Of course a monetary gift would be welcome (perhaps $25 to $50), but I favor a more traditional gift. Why not send something typical of England; i.e. a teapot, a book of English gardens or a woolen afghan?
Write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O.Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call INFOLINE at 442-4444 and press 4422. Carson's Web site is at www.theproperthing.com.