Dear Amy: Last Saturday, my husband and I went to our favorite diner for breakfast.

A group of nine young ladies, ages 10 to 14, sat with two moms at a nearby table, celebrating a birthday.

As they headed toward the bathroom in small groups, we noticed that they wore pajama bottoms and T-shirts. One of the tallest girls had on slippers and a bathrobe loosely hung over her nightclothes.

The group was leaving at the same time we were, and so I asked, "A pajama party?"

One mom proudly informed me, "They are Girl Scouts and we stole them from their beds!"

Since when is it appropriate to go to a restaurant in pajamas?

I see young people wearing plaid flannel bottoms in any and every public setting, which I regard as poor taste. I give allowances for parents toting children under 5.

But a group of teenage girls in night attire in a public restaurant? I think the Girl Scouts organization tries to teach young ladies some etiquette, if I remember rightly.

If parents don't teach children, and especially teens, how to groom themselves and act in a public place, they will assume that anything goes as they get older and have their own children.

What happened to respecting other people?

Amy says: Yes, what happened to respecting other people? For instance, you respecting this group of teens enough to appreciate that they are young, having fun, and — importantly — not necessarily in charge of their outfits on this particular morning, seeing as how they were rousted from their beds and spirited off to a diner. Perhaps you should have chastised the adults for permitting and promoting this attire.

This stunt sounds cute and fun, and a diner on a Saturday morning is the appropriate venue for a bunch of bleary-eyed and bed-headed Girl Scouts.

You don't note any bothersome or disruptive behavior regarding this group, and so I assume the Girl Scouts organization would be very happy to know that there are nine teens out there, gathering in a spirit of fun and fellowship on a Saturday morning.

Gifts with caveats

Dear Amy: My sister recently gave me an expensive (gold and diamond) necklace. The piece was not something I would purchase for myself — or ever wear.

My mother previously gave me a piece of jewelry I would characterize in the same way.

Both my mother and sister gave the gift with the caveat that I must not change the piece in any way, by removing (or moving) elements.

What do I do? It is set up as a loving gesture for a "legacy" piece of jewelry. How would you say, "No thank you; I do not like this item you love so much and want to honor me with"?

My "out" is that both pieces are very fancy, and I do not dress that way. But I am getting married soon and the gift from my sister could be worn.

Amy says: If you have accepted these pieces, along with the imposed limitations placed upon them, then I guess they will sit in a box until you are able to pass them along to someone else. You should be honest when expressing your gratitude: "It is so kind of you to give this to me, but ... you know me, I don't wear things that are so fancy. Are you sure you want me to have it?"

You should not feel obligated to wear something you don't like, but maybe there is a way to wear both pieces in a new way (perhaps wrapped around your wrist) for your wedding.

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