DEAR ABBY: More than a year ago, I heard my co-worker, whom I consider a friend, talking to another co-worker (who is a gossip) about my belly. I am 30 pounds overweight, and although I work out regularly, I still have this paunch from having had three kids. I am hurt that she would have said anything, but she doesn't know I heard her.
Occasionally, I see her glance at my stomach and I'm reminded of what happened. It is bizarre. Why is she looking at my stomach or discussing it with someone else? I always admired her and felt she was a friend to me. Should I bring it up next time she looks at my stomach? I'm having a hard time overcoming the hurt and wonder if I've made a mistake by considering her a friend. What do you think? — SOFT IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR SOFT: You caught your co-worker in mid-gossip. Shame on her! What I think is that this woman isn't as good a friend to you as you have been to her. If you wish to tell her you heard what she said and are very hurt by it, you are within your rights. Go for it, because she owes you an apology.
DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school. A lot of my friends are going to four-year colleges, while I'm starting at a community college. Many of them are going far away. They know their majors, and they're all very confident in their future plans. I can't help but feel left out, even though my community college plan will save money and allow me to experiment before choosing my major.
I'm confident in my plan; I just feel so out of the loop with my friends' college discussions. Is it OK to feel awkward during this transitional period? And is it OK to be unsure of what I want to do? — WONDERING ABOUT THE FUTURE
DEAR WONDERING: Please stop being so hard on yourself. You are far from the only young adult who is unsure of what steps they should take as they approach adulthood. Some high school seniors take a gap year off and get a job for this very reason. Community college seems like a practical solution for you. Bear in mind that your friends' confidence in their future plans doesn't guarantee they will end up in the careers they are aiming for now. Many times "life" intervenes and takes folks on a very different path.
DEAR ABBY: My spouse "cancels" me, and I am no longer willing to accept feeling devalued. There has been a serious communication breakdown. Mid-sentence of almost any topic of conversation I begin, he interrupts me with, "I know already," "You take too long" or, "I'm busy." Another response is typically, "I've got work to do," when, in fact, he is reading the newspaper or just getting a cup of coffee. How do I convince my spouse this is detrimental to our relationship, or is getting through to him even possible? — WOMAN WHO DOES NOT MATTER
DEAR WOMAN: What one does in a situation like this is tell the spouse the current situation is not tolerable, and suggest counseling to save your marriage. If your spouse then refuses, you must decide whether to move on, because your assessment of your relationship is correct.
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.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)