Q: I have just separated from my wife. I don’t plan on dating anytime soon, but I will eventually.
I have a disease that caused my immune system to destroy my liver cells. There is no way to predict whether my liver will fail in five days or five years. Would it be wrong to date knowing I have this disease? There is no cure, just a liver transplant if my liver fails completely.
Also, if it’s OK to date, when should I tell someone about my illness? I have no friends because at some point they will see me jaundiced and sick, and I would have to burden them with my health issues or lie. — Newly Separated in Montana
A: You are allowing your illness to rule your life, and that’s not a prescription that’s healthy for anyone. Many people suffer from health problems, but they don’t cut themselves off from relationships as you have.
Yes, you can date. If it looks like there could be a future, you should bring up the subject of your health at that time. But in the meantime, my advice is to make every effort to enjoy the time you have.
Q: In my mother’s opinion, I have a problem. I have prominent nipples that show through shirts. I wear a padded bra, but it doesn’t help. I don’t want to wear a heavier padded bra because I am big-busted already.
Honestly, the situation doesn’t bother me. It’s part of being me and no different than having a unibrow or ears that stick out. It’s not sexual. Should I worry about what others think about this? — My Eyes Are Up Here!
A: No. As you are probably already aware, anyone’s nipples can become rigid if there’s a change in the temperature. It doesn’t necessarily signal arousal. If you are comfortable, then keep dressing the way you do. This appears to be your mother’s problem. Do not let her anxiety rub off on you.
Q: As an older male retiree, I frequently encounter people at social gatherings who tilt their heads back, narrow their eyes and ask, “Exactly what was it that you did at XYZ Corporation?” When they find out I was what they consider to be “just a paper-pusher,” they abruptly turn their backs and walk away. Can you suggest an appropriate response to this form of snobbery? — Paper-Pusher in Arizona
A: When someone asks that question, you might smile and respond, “You know, I’m having such a great time in retirement, I can’t really recall what I did there!” Or, if you’re feeling mischievous, you could call out after the person, “Just kidding! I was the CEO.” And if the person turns to come back, turn YOUR back and walk away because, if your perception is correct, you have been conversing with someone who has terrible manners and no class.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.