Dear Abby: My husband, who is normally a kind and loving man, recently told me that he finds my body size troubling. I'm 5 feet 3 inches, weigh 204 pounds and have tried every diet under the sun. I doubt if there's a weight-loss plan that anyone could suggest that I haven't tried.
My question, however, is not about another kind of weight-loss program. What I'd be interested in knowing is this: How do other men with fat wives deal with it - especially those whose wives got fat after their marriage?Are they embarrassed in front of friends? Do they have affairs or fantasize about thin women? Or do they say nothing and quietly hate their wives? Does criticizing bring a change? Do they decide to resist cultural standards of weight? Or do they ignore it and love the other qualities their wives have?
Please ask your male readers, Abby. I'm very interested in what they might have to say - but they are not the kind of questions you ask some man sitting in the local fast-food restaurant. Thank you!
- Fat But Not Happy
Dear Fat But Not Happy: In answer to your questions: Not all men are alike. Some are embarrassed about the size of their wives; some are not - just as some wives with fat husbands will tell you. Some have affairs, but husbands with thin wives also have affairs. Criticism will sometimes bring a change, but not always.
A person (man or woman) is more than just a fat or thin person. There's heart, soul and personality inside. A person's value cannot be determined by his or her weight.
Dear Abby: My daughter recently graduated from a very prestigious college. Each graduate was given a limited number of tickets, as there were many graduates in an auditorium with a limited seating capacity.
While I expected to see people of all ages, I did not expect to see small children and infants.
Some parents did not hold the little ones on their laps; they let the youngsters jump around during the ceremony! And some with babies spent the entire time carrying them up and down the aisles trying to calm them.
Let's face it, it is difficult even for a parent to be interested in hundreds of graduates and speakers; how on earth do parents of these children expect them to act?
This is a wonderful moment for the parents and grandparents of graduates - but never on God's green earth would I do something as stupid as bringing an infant to a graduation ceremony.
- Annoyed in Massachusetts
Dear Annoyed: Congratulations, and hear, hear!
Dear Abby: I have never seen mentioned in your column how women of all ages, shapes and sizes - married, single and widowed - chase after priests and ministers, wanting to physically embrace them.
If a priest rejects them, some of these women make false accusations, ruining the reputations of decent, innocent men.
I have seen some of these women in action, and they are a disgrace. My son is a young priest, and this is his biggest complaint. Can you offer some suggestions that might help him?
- His Mother
Dear Mother: The most effective way to avoid an unwelcome physical embrace is to immediately extend one's hand and initiate a handshake.