DEAR ABBY: I have been trying to get healthy for years and recently lost a lot of weight. Every job I have, I work with grossly obese women. At my present job, one of them keeps coming to work dressed like me.
It has happened before and I am sick of it. You have no idea how insulting it is to come to work, ready to do my job and find myself in this embarrassing situation. I just started working here and I need the job.
To me, this is a form of harassment, and I don’t understand where she’s coming from. It’s not my problem if she is unhappy with her self-image. I like myself; I mind my own business and do my work.
Also, I worked in fashion for years. If she wants my fashion expertise, she should pay me for it.
Copying the way I dress is not a compliment. It’s identity theft. She is not me. I do not appreciate her imitating me. Please help! — ONE OF A KIND IN ILLINOIS
DEAR ONE OF A KIND: I’ll try, but it may not be the kind of help you’re asking for.
Have you never heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”? It’s a principle the fashion industry is based upon.
Instead of being offended and angry, why not help the woman by offering to assist her in making distinctive fashion choices of her own? I’m sure she’d welcome it, and I’m also sure it would lighten and brighten the atmosphere in your workplace.
DEAR ABBY: My mom was involved in a serious car accident a while back that required multiple surgeries and hospital stays. She’s still dealing with the repercussions.
The problem is that she doesn’t seem to have learned from it. She still texts and looks at her phone while driving. It has reached the point where I refuse to ride with her or allow her to drive my child in her car.
I’ve asked her repeatedly to not use her phone while driving, but she seems to think she’s invincible even after having proof she’s not.
What should I do to make her understand she’s putting herself in danger again, not to mention those who ride with her? — CONCERNED DAUGHTER
DEAR CONCERNED: Because your mother didn’t learn after the accident she caused by not turning off her cellphone, it’s time to accept that nothing you say will change her. Continue to refrain from riding with her or allowing your child to. And pray that if she causes another collision, she doesn’t kill herself or someone else.
DEAR ABBY: We love to open our windows and enjoy the fresh air during the wintertime in Florida. One neighbor sits out back and smokes and the other one smokes on his front porch, which makes it impossible to open our windows without smoke drifting in.
I realize they have rights, but why can’t we enjoy our home too? What would you do? — FRESH AIR IN FLORIDA
DEAR FRESH AIR: I’d consult an air conditioning company and describe the problem. Some restaurants that have smoking patios keep the cigarette smoke from annoying patrons inside by installing a fan above the entrance. The forced air blows straight down and serves as a barrier not only to smoke, but also to flying insects.
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 http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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