Modern etiquette for wearing hats indoors

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Annie: A few months back, I mentioned to my husband that I wish the style of men in suits and hats would come back. He came home a few days later in a little felt hat, which I have to admit looked good on him. Last week, we went out to dinner, and I told him that my grandfather always removed his hat while dining. He waved his arm in a circle and said, “Take a look around.” Sure enough, a lot of men, women and children were wearing hats — mostly ball caps and a few cowboy hats. What is the proper etiquette for hat wearing these days? He does remove it in church, thank goodness. — Hatless in Seattle

Dear Hatless: Your husband is correct that wearing hats indoors is now commonplace, but that doesn’t make it classy. I’d bet a big part of what appealed to you about the style of men in suits and hats was that it connoted a sense of propriety — something increasingly rare in today’s world. If your husband wants to sport that hat with true panache, he should doff it at the dinner table.

Dear Annie: Today I asked my husband whether he had heard from anyone over the holidays, just thinking that maybe one of our friends had contacted him instead of me. He looked right into my eyes and said, “No.” Something about the way he answered caused me to do something I had never done before: I checked his email when he left to go shopping. Sure enough, he had heard from someone, and I now discover he has been emailing with this person (a woman) for some time.

Knowing he is having a running conversation with another woman — plus the fact that he lied about it — has me wondering what to do. He’s been a liar in the past, but I thought he had moved beyond that. We’ve broken up before, but we worked things out and got back together. I trusted in him to do the right thing this time around, and until today, I believed everything was fine.

Of course, the other side of this is that I wouldn’t have even known this if I hadn’t gone into his email. Right now, I am brooding over it and letting the anger build up inside me. Should I admit I snooped and I know about his lies, or should I just keep quiet and start the process of ending the relationship? Honesty is important to me. But then, I was dishonest by snooping. Help! — Liar, Liar

Dear Liar, Liar: Come clean to your husband about your snooping, and in that same conversation, ask him to go to marriage counseling. By the time you find yourself wanting to snoop on your partner, mistrust has been festering for quite some time. It seems neither of you has been able to shake past issues. So perhaps this recent incident will turn out to be a very good thing for your marriage in the long run, if it persuades you both to truly open up to each other and begin the process of rebuilding trust from the ground up.

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