Advice from Amy: Plucking Hairs Off Someone’s Shirt
‘I feel like an orangutan’
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson weighs in on people plucking hairs off someone’s shirt – someone else’s shirt, that is.
Dear Amy: This is an insignificant problem, but I’d appreciate your opinion.
I have white hair and I think I look good wearing black.
When I am out in public with an acquaintance or co-worker, I can be in mid-sentence when some people will suddenly pick at my black shirt, and then say, “There was a hair on your shirt.”
It seems like they feel compelled to do this.
I feel like an orangutan.
I have sometimes said, partly joking, “I feel like I’m being groomed.”
Are they doing me a favor, plucking one of my white hairs off my shirt?
Is it the same as if I had food on my face, or if my pants were unzipped?
Should I be embarrassed, but grateful to have this pointed out?
I am about to give away all my black tops.
– White on Black
Dear White on Black: When people do this, they are not doing you a favor; they are treating their own discomfort — by removing something that distracts them and pulls their focus away from you.
You might never feel this impulse to smooth, straighten, or pluck (nor do I), but I agree with your instinct that doing so is something of a compulsion for people who cannot seem to resist.
In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068
© 2021 by Amy Dickinson