Dear Annie: My husband and I need some advice on how to approach a sticky situation concerning our daughter.
In the past several years, “Tricia” has gained a tremendous amount of weight. We are genuinely concerned for her health, physical and mental. We don’t know how to approach the subject without alienating her and causing resentment.
Tricia is married, with a loving husband and two precious children.
But we worry that if the weight situation continues, they may not have her around in a few years.
How do we address this in a kind, nonjudgmental manner? Any guidance will be appreciated.
— Concerned Parents
Dear Parents: We know it will be difficult to watch your daughter continue to gain weight, but believe us when we say nothing you tell her will make an ounce of difference. She knows she is overweight and that proper diet and exercise will help. She isn’t ready. The best thing you can do is tell her you love her and that she is a wonderful person and you always will be there for her. Talk to your son-in-law about creating a healthy environment for the entire family — he may need to help more with the grocery shopping and meal preparation. Children easily pick up their parents’ habits — good and bad. Otherwise, we urge you to stay out of it. This is truly a do-it-yourself project.
Dear Annie: I am bisexual. I am not going through a phase or trying to make up my mind. I am simply attracted to both males and females.
Everyone seems to have a problem with this. My best friend (who is gay) insists I must be straight. My mother tells me it’s OK that I am gay. “Biphobia” runs rampant even with people who are supportive of homosexuality.
My sexual orientation is no one’s business but my own. I do not bring up the subject with strangers or acquaintances who have no need to know. But close friends and relatives eventually will interact with whomever I choose to date, and I’d rather not have them think I’ve “made up my mind” every time I date one sex or the other.
How can I make people understand and respect my sexuality?
— Not Confused
Dear Confused: You don’t have to explain your sexual orientation, nor do you need to defend yourself. Bisexuality can be a difficult concept for some people to grasp, and the only way to make them understand is simply to live your life, letting them see for themselves how you choose your partners. In time, they will figure it out. There’s no need to aggravate yourself trying to do it for them.
Dear Annie: I feel compelled to respond to “K.R.,” the wedding photographer who advises brides, especially those who are well-endowed, to steer clear of strapless gowns.
Every body type is different, but it doesn’t mean a large-busted woman cannot wear a strapless gown on the biggest day of her life. I was a size 18 when I married my true love and proudly and confidently wore a beautiful strapless gown. It all comes down to the fit.
My dress was tailored beautifully, and I wore the correct corset to support my cleavage.
I agree that if you are not comfortable in a dress, it will come across in the pictures. So, ladies, choose a style that best flatters your shape and makes you feel special. As for that poor photographer having to Photoshop dimples, creases, stretch marks and unattractive cleavage, I think he is in need of a career change if it pains him so much to take a picture.
— Strapless, Confident Bride in Connecticut
Dear Strapless: You have essentially made the same point — that women need to be careful when wearing strapless dresses. And we don’t believe the photographer was complaining about the job, only warning that if he has to spend that much time getting rid of unattractive things in the photographs, it means you were showing all those things at the actual event.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.