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Dear Abby: I am a 27-year-old mom who has always been overweight. I have tried all sorts of diets and programs, and have lost a few pounds and then gained it all back and more.

My boss has offered to pay for me to have weight loss surgery. It is something I have always wanted, but could never afford. My boss told me she knows the struggle I have had and the frustration I have experienced.

My family is behind me and supports my decision to have it done. My concern is that once others in my office learn it was paid for by the boss, I’ll be treated differently. I’m concerned about possible catty comments. They are gossips, and I hate being the center of attention in situations like that. The truth is bound to come out, so how can I comment on the gift I’ve been given?

– So Grateful in Texas

Dear So Grateful: You have a generous and empathetic boss who obviously cares about you. Unless one of you reveals that she paid for your surgery, “the truth” is NOT bound to come out. How your operation is paid for is nobody’s business.

Keeping snark at bay

Dear Abby: I read your column on the nights that I work, and I was wondering if you have had days when you just wanted to tell someone who has written to you to “suck it up and deal with it.” I am generally a nice person and would help the most helpless cases as best I could, but I know that I have days when I have been snarky. I was wondering how you deal with those days.

– Feeling Snarky Tonight in Vermont

Dear Feeling Snarky: I write my column from an office away from my home. Because of that, it’s easier to leave distractions (or “problems”) on the other side of the door when I enter. I’m here to help people, not to make anyone feel worse. If for some reason I felt I was unable to do that, I would either go for a long walk or postpone writing for another day.

A final thank-you

Dear Abby: I was invited with four close friends to a “goodbye” tea at the request of a dying friend. Her four children were hostesses and had issued the phone call invitation the day before.

My friend is still alive. Is it necessary and proper to write a thank-you, and to whom?

– Bewildered in Phoenix

Dear Bewildered: Write a short thank-you note to the person who called you. If your friend is still well enough to understand it, write another one to her, expressing that you appreciated being able to spend the time with her and that you were honored to have been invited. That’s what I’d do.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.