How to nav­i­gate the hol­i­days with an eat­ing dis­or­der

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane Dear Hur­ray for Kind­ness: Hur­ray in­deed. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com. To find out more about An­nie Lane and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate colum­nists and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate we

Dear An­nie: I have a sib­ling who strug­gles with an eat­ing dis­or­der. I’ve heard that Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas pose chal­lenges for peo­ple with eat­ing dis­or­ders, as peo­ple are ex­pected — and even pres­sured — to eat more than usual. How can I help my sis­ter feel calmer on such food-cen­tric hol­i­days? I want to make the sea­son happy for her.

Sup­port­ive Sib­ling

Dear Sup­port­ive Sib­ling: Your sig­na­ture says it all. Sup­port, love and pa­tience are ex­actly what your sis­ter needs. Hav­ing concern is one of the most im­por­tant things you can do for her. Tell her that you are sen­si­tive to the fact that Thanks­giv­ing and Christ­mas sit-down meals will pose a chal­lenge. Some­times the very ac­knowl­edg­ment of some­one’s feel­ings can make all the dif­fer­ence.

Maybe you could es­tab­lish a safe word with her at the ta­ble. For ex­am­ple, if she starts to feel un­com­fort­able or if a guest com­ments on how much or how lit­tle she is eat­ing, she could start talk­ing about the weather. It would not only change the sub­ject af­ter an in­sen­si­tive com­ment but also clue you in to the fact that she’s feel­ing un­com­fort­able. You could help her carry the con­ver­sa­tion for­ward.

Dear An­nie: I’d like to re­spond to the let­ter from “Con­fused at the Counter.” You were so right that servers make their liv­ing on tips. I am through col­lege and no longer have to de­pend on tips to live.

“Con­fused at the Counter” was con­fused about why there’s a tip line on one’s re­ceipt while get­ting take­out. The per­son at the take­out counter takes your call and then pro­ceeds to put to­gether your or­der, the same as a server would for some­one din­ing in. This per­son makes sure all your re­quested ex­tras are there, makes your salad, etc. Ba­si­cally, this per­son does the same job as a server at a ta­ble; there are just no re­fills on your tea, be­cause you leave.

This job is very dif­fi­cult be­cause peo­ple don’t tip. They think that their food mag­i­cally gets in to-go boxes and that all the ex­tra ranch and hot sauces hop in for a free ride!

I had four nurses who worked the night shift reg­u­larly call a few min­utes be­fore clos­ing and or­der huge take­out or­ders to sus­tain them through the night. I would have to get ev­ery­thing back out, and the cooks would grum­ble. One of the nurses would swing in, grab the to-go bags, pay and leave no tip, and we were all late on clos­ing. I’m very thank­ful I don’t have to do that job any­more. I hope “Con­fused at the Counter” un­der­stands and knows that I al­ways tip!

For­mer Food Worker

Dear For­mer Food Worker: I’ll def­i­nitely be think­ing of your anec­dote the next time I’m fill­ing out the tip line on a re­ceipt for a to-go or­der. Thanks for shar­ing your ex­pe­ri­ence.

Dear An­nie: The hus­band who gave the wa­ter­melon to a neigh­bor who had dis­par­aged his wife must be us­ing two wise age-old meth­ods: turn­ing the other cheek and do­ing unto oth­ers as he would have them do unto him.

This world could use more kind­ness, and maybe, just maybe, this man will see some­thing in that hus­band that will spur a change in him. Maybe the wife will, too.

Hur­ray for Kind­ness

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