Mad Scientess Jane Expat (nanila) wrote,
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

A question of etiquette

Whilst I was pootling home from the rail station yesterday, a middle-aged man steamed past me on the pedestrian footbridge. He sported a ponytail, a maroon button-down shirt that had been washed many times and a pair of black slacks. The slacks had ripped just underneath his right buttock. I was briefly hypnotized by his bouncing bottom before a thought struck me: Should I tell him? Would he not want to know? He could untuck his shirt and it would probably cover the little Window of Shame in his trousers. But wait, what if he already knew it was there and didn't care? Before I could resolve the debate, he was fifteen feet in front of me and I would have had to run up to him to tell him. At that point, he began to whistle. I decided not to spoil his good mood. He would find out soon enough.

If I see a stranger with an unzipped rucksack in danger of losing its contents, or a person unknowingly drop their Oyster card or wallet, I instinctively pursue them to let them know of the impending disaster. Wardrobe malfunctions are more difficult. What others perceive to be a wardrobe malfunction may in fact be a fashion statement (e.g. untied shoelaces). Now, I'm fairly certain this man was not making a fashion statement with his right buttock. However, I still don't know whether or not I should have spoken to him. What would you have done in my place?

Poll #1617124 The Case of the Man with the Torn Trousers.

What is the correct response to spotting such a wardrobe malfunction?

As tactfully as possible, inform the person that their buttocks are in view.
Giggle and avert your eyes.

Today, I have discovered that I am wearing an outfit that is probably inappropriate for interviewing candidates for the new position in the lab. It consists of a short black dress, black leggings and my black Docs. (Hey, I get dressed while mostly asleep in the dark every morning. Everyone's lucky I manage to put clothes on at all.) I also managed to slip and fall dramatically - with arms wheeling around and everything - while trying to get into the lift at Gloucester Road station this morning. The dignified comportment of the Serious Scientist: I don't have it.
Tags: commuting, poll, social issues
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