Dear Abby: I overheard a colleague talking about my belly size

DEAR ABBY: Over a year ago I overheard my co-worker, who I consider a friend, talking to another co-worker (who is a talker) about my belly. I’m 30 pounds overweight and although I work out regularly, I still have that gut feeling of having had three kids. I’m hurt that she said nonsense, but she doesn’t know that I heard her.

Sometimes I see her peek at my stomach and remember what happened. It’s weird. Why is she staring at my belly or discussing it with someone else? I always admired her and felt she was a friend to me. Should I talk about it the next time she looks at my belly? I’m struggling to get over the pain and I wonder if I made a mistake considering her a friend. What do you think? — SOFT IN THE MIDDLE

DEAR SWEET: You caught your colleague chatting. Shame on her! What I think is that this woman is not as good a friend to you as you were to her. If you want to tell her that you heard what she said and that you are very hurt by it, you are within your rights. Go ahead, because she owes you an apology.

DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school. Many of my friends go to four-year colleges, while I start at community college. Many of them go far. They know their specialties and they are all very confident in their future projects. I can’t help but feel left out, even though my community college plan will allow me to save money and experiment before choosing my major.

I am confident in my plan; I feel so left out of my friends’ college discussions. Is it normal to feel uncomfortable during this transition period? And can I be unsure of what I want to do? — CONSIDER THE FUTURE

DEAR WONDERFUL: Please stop being so hard on yourself. You’re far from the only young adult who doesn’t know what steps to take as you approach adulthood. Some high school students take a gap year and find employment for this reason. Community college seems like a practical solution for you. Keep in mind that your friends’ confidence in their future endeavors does not guarantee that they will end up in the careers they are aiming for now. Often “life” intervenes and takes people down a very different path.

DEAR ABBY: My spouse “cancels” me and I no longer want to accept feeling devalued. There was a serious breakdown in communication. Mid-sentence of almost any topic of conversation I start, he interrupts me with “I already know”, “You’re taking too long”, or “I’m busy”. Another response is usually “I have work to do”, when in fact he is reading the paper or simply having a cup of coffee. How can I convince my spouse that this is harming our relationship, or is it even possible to reach him? — WOMAN WHO DOESN’T MATTER

DEAR WOMAN: What is done in a situation like this is to tell the spouse that the current situation is not tolerable and suggest advice on how to save your marriage. If your spouse then refuses, you must decide 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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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