DEAR ABBY: I recently went on a business trip that required me to share meals with my co-workers. I became the target of criticism from them over my eating habits because I like to eat my dessert first. It doesnt keep me from eating the rest of the meal; I just do it in a different order than most people.
By JEANNE PHILLIPS
When the subject came up, I tried to explain that because I wasnt allowed to do it as a child, I swore that when I was an adult, Id eat my food in any order I wanted. But lately, it has failed to diffuse the tension.
I dont think Im being rude. I do this only at restaurants where its possible to order dessert at the same time as the meal. Id never do it when Im a guest in someones home. Do you think Im being rude? Should I eat in a more conventional way to avoid flak from people Im dining with? Sweet Tooth in Colorado
DEAR SWEET TOOTH: Im not your mother, so Ill refrain from lecturing you about the empty calories you consume, which reduce your appetite for the healthy food you should be eating at mealtime. And yes, I do think what youre doing is rude because it is obviously making your eating companions uncomfortable, or you wouldnt be getting flak along with your dessert.
Group helps grieve for lost children
DEAR ABBY: My little girl was born with a heart defect. She made it through the first heart surgery but passed away a week later right in front of me while the doctors and nurses tried to save her.
As the date of her death gets closer, I am becoming more and more depressed. How can I remember her and share my memories in a good way when all I want to do is stay in bed and cry? Heartbroken Mommy in North Carolina
DEAR MOMMY: I am so sorry for your loss. A way to remember your little girl and share those memories would be to contact a group called the Compassionate Friends. Its a national self-help support organization for families grieving the death of a child and was started to help families cope with the loss of children of any age and from any cause.
It sponsors a worldwide candle lighting on the second Sunday of December each year. The event is at 7 p.m. local time and lasts for one hour. Services are also held throughout the day in hundreds of locations in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as in other countries around the world. You can post a memorial message for your daughter in the online memorial book.
To locate a service near you and learn more about the work this organization does and what it offers, visit compassionatefriends.org, or call toll-free 877-969-0010. This is a valuable resource for anyone who has lost a child.
Choosing the right gift for ex-wife
DEAR ABBY: After 31 years of marriage, my wife and I have split up. We love each other, but after the kids moved out, we realized we have little in common.
What is an appropriate Christmas gift for an ex-wife? We are on friendly terms and will probably spend the holidays together with our children. I dont want to give a gift that will offend or encourage her. Free Man in Pennsylvania
DEAR FREE MAN: How about a gift card from her favorite store, or a lovely scarf or colorful shawl, or if she has a hobby, something to do with it? None of them would send the wrong message.
© Universal Uclick 12/2
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