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Ask A Woman Trying On Pants

Dear Cheryl,

Please settle a disagreement between me and my wife. It is my understanding that tipping is a reward for good service. My wife says it is an embarrassment not to leave at least 15 percent for a waiter or waitress, even if the service is horrible. I don't want to be stingy, but why should I pay for something I don't get?

—Cheapskate In Chesapeake

Dear Chesapeake,

You sure these don't make me look fat? What about in the back? Don't these make me look like a total cow from the back? I just think they look really tight, especially when I walk. I don't know what the deal is. I wear a 5/6, and these are a 5/6, but they just feel like they're kind of riding up in the back. Are they riding up? I don't know, maybe this brand runs small or something. No, I don't want to try a larger size. I'm a 5/6.

Dear Cheryl,

I live in a condominium, and I work hard to keep my lawn looking neat and trimmed, as per instructions in my complex's handbook. But my neighbor (we'll call him "Peter") is a total slob! His rusty grill is behind our building, and there are knee-high weeds growing in his front yard! Should I say something? It's driving me crazy!

—Tidy In Toledo

Dear Tidy,

Oh, my God, these are so cute. I have to have them. These would look so amazing with that brown rollneck sweater I just got and my black Steve Maddens. That would be such a perfect outfit for Cara's party Saturday. How much are these? I don't even care. Look at the little stitched flowers along the pockets and on the bottom. Is that just the cutest thing ever? What? You don't like these? Too summery? I don't know, I thought maybe with the brown rollneck or, like, my new black cardigan with a cropped-top blouse under it and that one gray silk scarf, it would look good for this time of year. You're right. Forget it. Put them back and get me that pair of tan cord flares. I hate rayon, anyway.

Dear Cheryl,

A few days ago, I met this really cute guy at our neighborhood coffee shop, and he asked me out to dinner. But here's the hitch: I never thought to tell him that my divorce still hasn't gone totally through yet. The marriage is done, but do you think I should call him before the date and mention it, just in case he wants to back out?

—Splitting In Springfield

Dear Splitting,

How do these look? I usually don't like flat-fronts, but that's because I always try on flat-front khakis. These are kind of dressier. And I don't own anything that's sateen. I really like them. Except those buttons in the front are a little weird. But I'd probably wear these with the shirt untucked, so they probably wouldn't even show. Amy had a pair like these, and I so totally wanted them. But if I get those suede army pants I tried on at the Gap, the two would kind of overlap. Plus, those were $168, and I'd feel totally guilty also getting these, too. Unless, instead, I got these and the flannel stretch boot-cuts at that first store we went to. Those were only $58. Plus, it was buy one, get any accessory 50 percent off. That's such a deal. So I should get these, right? I could always take them back when I'm out shopping this weekend. Okay, I'm definitely going to get them. If you think I should.

Cheryl Woods is a nationally syndicated columnist whose weekly advice column, Ask A Woman Trying On Pants, appears in more than 250 newspapers nationwide.