DEAR ABBY: I had weight-loss surgery three years ago and lost 134 pounds. Two years later, I traded addictions and became a problem drinker. During this time I met a man, but my drinking came between us and we broke up. I stopped drinking three months ago. He contacted me and, when he found out I had quit drinking, we had lunch and talked and we are now dating again.
After a week of dating, he said, "I notice you are eating more than when we dated before. Have you stretched out your stomach?" I said, "No, because I'm no longer drinking, I now eat three meals a day." He said, "I sure don't want you to gain back all that weight you lost!"
My feelings are very hurt and I'm even a bit angry. I really do like him. What should I say to him that will convey my feelings? I want to stand up for myself without being crass. — TRYING AGAIN IN ARKANSAS
DEAR TRYING: The next time you are face-to-face, say, "I would like to revisit something you said to me recently. You said, 'Have you stretched out your stomach? I sure don't want you to gain back all that weight you lost!' It was really hurtful. Surely you know I don't want to gain back all the weight either, nor do I intend to. But if eating healthfully means I'll carry a few more pounds than I did when I was drinking, you will either have to accept it or I will have to stop seeing you."
DEAR ABBY: I'm 69 and a retired military man. My wife passed away almost two years ago. I'm very fond of a single neighbor who is 30 and has two children. She has been inviting me for supper at her house at least three times a week and when I leave, we hug. I'd like to kiss her but I don't know if I should ask first or tell her I'm getting attached to her. How do I find out if she has feelings for me? — PUZZLED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR PUZZLED: A way to do that would be to say, "I'd like to kiss you. How do you feel about that?" Then be prepared for the answer either way.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is having a small wedding. I have one sister that my daughter and I speak with who is invited to the wedding. I have another sister who hasn't been in contact with my daughter in 20 years. We have minimal contact.
The invited sister is now threatening to give her invitation to my other sister! Have you ever heard of such a thing? She feels that no matter what, family should be invited, and she has taken it upon herself to invite our other sister to the wedding. How do I handle this situation? — MOTHER OF THE BRIDE
DEAR MOTHER: Tell the sister you are still speaking to that when an invitation is sent, it is intended only for the individual whose name appears on the envelope. Contact the sister you speak to rarely and explain that your daughter's wedding will be a small one, and since she hasn't been close to your daughter in 20 years, she is not on the guest list.
If that doesn't do the trick and she crashes the wedding, don't make a scene. Seat her in the back and explain politely that because she wasn't invited, no accommodation has been made for her at the reception. Focus on your daughter on her big day and avoid any backstage drama.
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)