DEAR ABBY: We need advice about how to respond to friends and family who poke fun or show disdain because of our healthy lifestyle. We are in our 60s. We rarely eat out, and when we do, we avoid fast food. We cook most of our meals with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, fish and chicken. We exercise regularly and have occasional treats. We have no chronic illnesses and aren't on any medications.
For some reason, our food choices rub people the wrong way. If we are asked why we are in good health, we answer, "Over the years, we've learned not to consume foods or beverages that make us feel bad." If we're invited out to eat and order the baked salmon with broccoli instead of the burger and fries, we hear, "Your diet is so BORING." We usually laugh and shrug it off, but we don't think our diet is boring. We simply enjoy being healthy and know that food is "medicine." Should we continue to keep our mouths shut? — HEALTHY LIVING
DEAR HEALTHY: YEP! Your friends and family react the way they do because seeing you eat the way you do makes them feel self-conscious about their own food choices. Continue laughing and shrugging to age 100. The others may not be as fortunate as you.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend recently discovered that I am still talking to another girl I used to date. I'll call her Kyra.
Kyra and I had agreed we would remain strictly friends, and the breakup was before I started dating my current girlfriend, "Jan." Jan is devastated by this, and I can somewhat understand why. She got cheated on multiple times in her last relationship.
Do you think I was crossing a boundary by wanting to maintain the friendship with Kyra? Or should I have dropped it when I started dating Jan? I'm asking you because everyone I talk to agrees with me, and everyone Jan talks to agrees with her. I assume it's because people agree with whoever is telling the story. You are unbiased, and your opinion would be greatly appreciated. — DOING THE RIGHT THING IN UTAH
DEAR DOING: There's nothing wrong with remaining friends after a breakup. Jan is insecure because her last boyfriend cheated on her, and who can blame her? However, that is her problem, and you shouldn't make it yours. Your mistake was not telling Jan when you first started dating that you are still in touch with Kyra — and that she's a platonic friend, nothing more. Jan does not have the right to control your friendships, and you shouldn't let it happen.
DEAR ABBY: How do you cut off a person who talks constantly without a break? By the time there's a lull in her speech, I have forgotten what I wanted to add to the conversation. — WORD IN EDGEWISE IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR WORD: I have encountered compulsive talkers like her. They are exhausting. Remember, she has to breathe SOMETIME. The minute she starts to inhale, start talkin'!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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