DEAR ABBY: My co-worker and supposed friend asked if she could borrow my wedding dress because she thought it was so beautiful. I was thrilled to lend it to her and paid for the alterations ($200 plus) as her wedding present. I accompanied her to her fittings and helped her plan her wedding for approximately 100 friends and family.
The kicker: My husband and I were not invited to the wedding, and when she returned my gown, it had lipstick on it and cake down the front. It wasn't even in a bag — she just handed it to me. What should I think about this? — FLABBERGASTED IN FLORIDA
DEAR FLABBERGASTED: You should conclude that your co-worker and "friend" is someone with no class whatsoever. Have the dress cleaned and packaged so it can be properly stored if you intend to keep it, and give HER the bill. Then distance yourself far enough from this person that if she asks for any more favors, you can comfortably say no.
DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with my girlfriend, who lives in her native Germany, for almost two years. We met online thanks to a mutual online friend of mine and school friend of hers.
My girlfriend struggles with her body image, and I'm not sure how to help other than call her beautiful often. She's thin and looks fine by "American standards," as she puts it, but for a German she is larger than most, which is why she thinks she's fat and ugly, despite the fact that she's slim and pretty. What would you suggest I do in order to help her improve her body image? — SUPPORTIVE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR SUPPORTIVE: Other than continuing to reassure her that in your eyes she's beautiful, there isn't much you can do long-distance. However, there is plenty SHE can do. She should discuss her fixation with a doctor who can explain what a healthy weight should be for someone her height and build. If her problem is all in her head, it's possible she needs counseling for body dysmorphia, a disorder in which people of normal weight are convinced they are heavy. It's not uncommon.
DEAR ABBY: I am going through a rough divorce. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, I had to get an order of protection against my soon-to-be ex.
I originally intended to keep my husband's last name because we have a child together and I want my last name to be the same as my child's. The thing is, Abby, I'm so disgusted with his behavior that the thought of keeping his last name makes me sick to my stomach. What should I do? — SINGLE SOON IN OHIO
DEAR SINGLE SOON: Many parents have different names than their children. If keeping your almost-ex-husband's last name makes you sick to your stomach now, in a few years you may have a major case of indigestion. Change your name when the divorce is final because the longer you wait to do it, the more complicated it may become.
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.