Woman’s weight sud­denly both­ers sick friend

The Daily Observer - - LIFE - AMY DICKINSON Email: askamy@tri­bune.com Twit­ter: @ask­ingamy

Dear Amy: I am a woman, wor­ried about a close per­sonal (male) friend that I have known for more than 10 years.

We have been col­leagues and also so­cial­ize out­side of work. I con­sider him a men­tor. He is mar­ried and is quite a bit older than I. We have an al­most fa­mil­ial re­la­tion­ship.

He has had some health is­sues. Now I feel like he is be­com­ing a shut-in. The last few times I have vis­ited, he has made dis­parag­ing and crit­i­cal re­marks about my weight.

He has never done this be­fore, and it makes me very un­com­fort­able.

I have been over­weight my whole life. I was over­weight when he met me, and he has lit­er­ally never men­tioned it be­fore now.

The re­marks he makes are things like, “When are you go­ing to do some­thing about your weight? You re­ally should start ex­er­cis­ing and con­trol­ling what you eat.”

Quite frankly, I am not try­ing to im­press him; my weight is not his busi­ness. I know he needs my sup­port right now, but he makes me feel rot­ten and un­com­fort­able when he says th­ese things, to the point where I do not want to visit him, es­pe­cially if there are other guests present to hear th­ese state­ments.

What should I say to him? I value his friend­ship, but lately he has made it hard for me to en­joy our time to­gether.


Dear Fat-So?: Your friend’s health and cur­rent cir­cum­stances might be af­fect­ing his per­son­al­ity or fil­ter, but this doesn’t mean that you need to ac­cept state­ments that make you feel bad.

The next time you visit, make a de­ter­mi­na­tion to re­spond hon­estly. You can say, “You’ve men­tioned my weight a few times now. Why is that?” He might tell you that his own health con­cerns have made him worry about you.

Re­gard­less of how he re­sponds, you should make sure he un­der­stands that you don’t want to dis­cuss it with him: “I’ve strug­gled with my weight my whole life. I don’t in­tend to dis­cuss this with you.”

Dear Amy: My two sons and I lived in one neigh­bour­hood for more than 20 years (we re­cently moved to a place nearby).

“Kate,” a young girl from the neigh­bour­hood, is now get­ting mar­ried.

An­other young woman from the neigh­bour­hood re­cently told us that, due to fi­nances, the young cou­ple will be pay­ing for their own wed­ding and there­fore are ad­her­ing to a strict guest list.

It’s ap­par­ent that we are not in­vited to the wed­ding.

We were all a bit sad when we heard this news. I com­pletely un­der­stand their sit­u­a­tion. I am, how­ever, heart­bro­ken that we got the news from a friend and not the young lady her­self.

Amy, we have known her for al­most her whole life! Why is she not ac­knowl­edg­ing us?

I have not reached out to her my­self, as I do not want to put her on the spot. I am just very sad, re­al­iz­ing that she does not care enough to ac­knowl­edge us at this mile­stone event in her life.

I re­al­ize that eti­quette does not dic­tate that a fu­ture bride con­tact those who are not in­vited to the wed­ding. How­ever, one would think that if there has been a close, long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship, that she could at least say some­thing. Isn’t a small ac­knowl­edg­ment ap­pro­pri­ate?


Dear Feel­ing Dissed: It is nat­u­ral to feel dis­ap­pointed to learn that you haven’t been in­cluded in a mile­stone event, but you are cor­rect when you note that a mar­ry­ing cou­ple should not have to no­tify peo­ple who are not in­vited to their small wed­ding.

You seem to have the idea of ac­knowl­edg­ment back­ward. It is you who should ac­knowl­edge and con­grat­u­late the cou­ple. That’s what ma­ture, car­ing peo­ple from the neigh­bour­hood do. The bride can then re­spond by thank­ing you, ac­knowl­edg­ing the role you have played in her life, and say­ing that she wished she could have in­cluded you.

You may re­ceive an an­nounce­ment in the mail or through so­cial me­dia af­ter the fact. When you do, I hope you will re­spond gra­ciously.

Dear Amy: “Bat­tle Scarred” re­ported the in­tru­sion, in­ter­rup­tion, and ac­ci­dents caused by “Nerf wars” that broke out in the of­fices of the Sil­i­con Val­ley startup where she worked. This is the most ridicu­lous work­place prac­tice I have ever heard of. Why is this tol­er­ated?


Dear Bewildered: This is tol­er­ated be­cause the peo­ple run­ning the com­pany en­cour­age work­ers to as­so­ci­ate work with “fun.” But ... only a few peo­ple at the of­fice get to de­fine “fun.” For every­one else, it’s duck and cover.

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