ASK CARRIE

How do I respond to a girl who brags about all the diamonds her husband gives her. She tries to belittle me because I dont have the same. How do I respond to her? Thanks Millie G.

Hi Millie, although this might sound harsh, perhaps that is what is needed when confronting a mean girl. This is how I would respond. "Honey, that is a beautiful diamond ring your hubby gave you, and you said he gave it to you "just because", well honey perhaps you should check is whereabouts, because its the classic way that married men relieve their conscious when they are fooling around"  Bet this girl will NEVER again brag to you about her latest diamond acquisition.

I just found out im adopted and im devastated but dont want to confront my parents who have been so good to me. I would like to make contact with my birth mother, but wont tell my real mom for she will be hurt and think I dont love her. Should I tell her, or just try to find my birth mom secretly. Good Daughter Daisy

Dear Daisy, Im sure it was a shock to find out your adopted, but it sounds like your upbringing was loving and attentive, and your adopted parents felt it best to become your "real" parents. I know you must be curious about your background, but other than that, your life seems to have been normal, but understand that finding your birth mother might bring you some emotional pain. If you can handle that, perhaps you should find your birth mom just to see how she is, although you would probably have a million questions for her, which she might not like to reveal. You know whats in your heart, so do what is best for YOU. It might provide you with the closure you seem to need.

I dont own a dress, I only use leggings and pants. I have been criticised by my boyfriend, for he feels a true “girl” uses feminine clothes, like a dress. Is he right or should I begin wearing dresses. Stephanie

Dear Stephanie, The way you dress reflects your fashion "style".  I'm sure your boyfriend met you while you were wearing pants and you should remind him of that. As for a dress being more "feminine" than trousers, you can be feminine by wearing anything that is comfortable to you.  Just as you dont demand that your boyfriend wear a SUIT to see you, for that is the true Masculine garb, he shouldn't demand that you wear dresses to be "feminine".

I am concerned that my losing my job unexpectdly will affect what I feel about myself, because i have actually stopped going out, especially to find new employment. I dont care about paying bills, nor anything. Please Help

I think you should be happy you recognize the problem which is the first step in you mental and spiritual recovery.  Losing a job is one of lifes 3 disappointments that causes anxiety, stress and depression, so if the only issue is that you refuse the leave the house, that is a manageable problem. First you should find the job (online employment agencies) that will make you happy, and send out your resume. You just need an "important" reason" to leave the house.  If you are called, you should study the company so you can impress them with what you know about them. The rest will work out for itself. If its meant to be, it will be. Trust Me.

I am a full figure woman who is going on vacation with my new boyfriend. My issue is that he insists on selecting the clothing I will bring, and says his taste is impeccable and I should appreciate his interest in my looking good. Should I put a stop to this fashion manipulation or is he just a helpful love. Peeved Pat

Dear Pat, you should ask your boyfriend if he liked the way you looked when he first met you. I am sure he did, and you didnt have him around to dress you. Tell him that if he is insistent on choosing the clothing you wear, if he is buying new clothes for you, then its ok for him to choose, otherwise your wardrobe is your domain, as is his own wardrobe. He sounds possessive, so be aware that his possessiveness  might begin with control of your wardrobe then its your friends and family.

I have a girlfriend that is always borrowing my clothes and when she returns them, they are dirty. She says I shouldn’t be so cheap. Should I drop her as a friend or what? Generous Trudie

Dear Trudi, Tell your friend you are starting a LATE New Years Resolution. That you will no longer lend your clothes. If she is a good friend, she will not be bothered by this, although she will try one more time to borrow just to check if you were serious. If you no longer hear from her then you know you didn't lose a friend, you lost a dependent.

I feel I am attractive & my boyfriend affirms that regularly, but when we go out, his eyes wonder and usually towards sexy blonds. Should I change the color of my hair and dress sexier or what! Please Help!

Don’t change a thing about yourself. Perhaps he needs a taste of his own medicine. Next time your out and his eyes wonder, perhaps you too can give a subtle glance at the cute guy near you. Operative word is SUBTLE, for we don’t want problems. He will notice and call you on it, you should respond: “I’ve learned from YOU, and thought it was OK behavior, since YOU do it so often”. If he doesn’t get the hint and continues, perhaps you should SHOP for a new guy.

I think I wear a size 18, but I squeeze into a 16 and sometimes it gives way. I just LOVE TIGHT CLOTHING, and feel it looks sexy, friends say I should use my size, but I seldom find great looking clothes at that size, should I continue to wear the sexy 16 or should I listen to my friends and wear what fits.

I too love sexy clothes, but when my friends tell me to wear My size, that is a clear indicator that I don’t look as good as I think I do. Perhaps you should look into changing your style with a new designer look. Maybe you can get into a 16 with the new look. Visit our Designers and perhaps they can help you find THE REAL SEXY YOU.

What do you think of wearing boots in the summer? I see the fashion pages and the cute dresses are accessorized by ankle boots.

Fashion will be fashion. It seems that now we can wear boots with shorts. If you feel it's for you, then go for it. The plus side of this fashion statement is that boots are way more comfortable than heels.

I would like to know whether it’s important or not to laugh loudly. My boyfriend gets embarrassed, and scolds me, especially at the movies. Should I try to curb the tone of my laugh or should my boyfriend just accept it. Please Help. ~Tania

Dear Tania, It seems to me that your boyfriend loved your hearty laugh when you met, so you should remind him that your happy laugh is what made him feel his jokes were funny. And scolding you at the movies is a no-no. Tell him you will begin to scold him when he gulps his beer or chomps on his food. Be Sure he wouldn’t like that.

I just love to wear lots of perfume, and my boyfriend complains it’s too strong and hates it. Should I not wear the perfume or should I just ignore his comments? ~Liz

Dear Liz, The good thing about wearing perfume is that there are so many different scents, that one can be a turn on and the other a turn off. Tell your boyfriend to accompany you to the Dept. Store to purchase a new scent that he would love. Then you will get a new perfume and he will be happy. I believe This is a win win situation.

My boyfriend gave as a birthday gift the choice of a eye lift or a one week stay at weight reduction spa. I chose the eye lift, for I feel an attractive face is more important than a thinner body. Did I make the right choice?

Your generous boyfriend made the right decision in having YOU chose which is best. I agree with him, and see that you have already made the right decision.

I love food, and portion control is my biggest problem. My friends feel that if I eat a fruit before each meal, I will be full and not eat as much and get the nutrients of the fruit at the same time. They insist that I will control my portions by consuming an apple or banana. Is this true, or am I just fooling myself?

Portion Control is the problem of most people who love food. I was using a similar practice only instead of a fruit, I drank an 8 oz glass of water before each meal. Yes I felt full, but noticed it was not only portion control but the type of food I chose to eat that packed on the pounds. Fried food is the biggest culprit, and even though you might eat Less, its still is high in calorie. I learned the BEST way to control portions was to eat slowly. I used to gobble down the food so fast that I would go for 3rd and sometimes 4 servings. Chew each bite 8 times before swallowing, you will see that simple practice will control your portions.

I just cant seem to find clothes with the style and sexiness that I see in smaller sizes. Where should I go to find something new and exciting for Plus Size Princess like myself. Thanks, Sharon

Keep on visiting this site. We are planning a great collection of Designer lines that you will be impressed with. In the meantime let us know what your particular style preference is, so we will be sure to search for Designer Companies with your interests in mind.

I love sandals, and my boyfriend hates when I wear sandals because he says my toes are ugly. Should I listen to him and not wear my sandals or should I ignore his insults? Laura

Dear Laura, Your boyfriend is wrong to comment on your toes. Just tell him if they offend him not to look down, and continue to be comfy in your sandals.

I live in Brooklyn New York, and love to go to the beach. The problem is that I travel in the subways with shorts, and my friends say they are too provocative. The New York subways are hot and I feel why wear lots of clothes when they will be coming off once I reach the Cony Island beach. Is it really so bad that I wear my comfy shorts in the subways or is there another garment that is more Subway friendly? Penny

Dear Penny, Where its important to be "comfy", it is also important to adhere to the unspoken rules of your environment, and the subway calls for subtle attire. So visit your neighborhood boutique and purchase a fab Sun Dress to avoid the comments from your friends and others.

I’m a teacher, and am used to wearing conservative clothes to classes, however, when I go out with my girlfriends no one ever looks at me and I think it’s because I use drab cloths. Should I continue to just wear what I wear, and hope fate will bring me my prince charming or should I try to be more sexy in my attire, even though I know I shouldn’t for it might be too distracting to my students? Please advise. Pam

Dear Pam, Perhaps you should bring along a brighter color shirt that you can change into when going out with your friends. Add on some cute earring and your conservative look will transform itself into a less threatening challenge that guys can approach. Remember, men are attracted to color, so although you might love your muted colors, try a brighter rendition of your favorite color, and let me know how it goes.

My girlfriend and I both work at the same insurance Company, and have this ongoing battle regarding which is a better business attire, a skirt suit, or a pants suit? I say that a pants suit present a more formal impression, and she feels that a skirt suits are more formal. I feel that pants are more professional looking, and she feels a skirt suit let’s us maintain our femininity and is the best for a more harmonious work environment. So who is right? Olivia & Marie

Dear Ladies, you BOTH are right. Both a pants suit and a skirt suit present the same good first impression necessary for any professional woman to succeed in business. Of course the pants must not be too tight, and the skirt must not be too short, but I'm sure you ladies already know that.

This is embarrassing, but I just have to ask. I have been told that heavy set women don’t like sex as much as thinner women. I am probably the only man who will write to you regarding this sensitive topic because I notice that you cater to women’s issues. But I have noticed that since my wife gained 50 lbs after the birth of our daughter, she avoids intimacy with me. At one time I remember that we were like rabbits and coundn’t get enough of each other, now all I hear is excuses, about being tired, or the baby needs this or that, or just she’s not in the mood. My question is, does added pounds impede the sex drive, or can there be another reason behind this cold spell I’m experiencing. Will I get back my sexy and sexually insatiable wife back, or should I just expect this new phase to become a permanent happening. Please advise this husband who still adores his wife, with her 50 lbs and all. Lonely Steve

Dear Steve, well the first thing I must ask is have you let you wife know that she is still sexy even with her extra weight? Many women become embarrassed about their extra pounds, and feel that you will not be turned on by it. Unless a woman feels that her weight gain does not turn you off, and that you still finds her sexually attractive, you will continue to experience many cold nights. You job now is to compliment her not when your in the bedroom and she feels you just need her for that moment, but before you enter the bedroom. Remember women are turned on through their ears, which means sweet words and compliments, while you guys are turned on by your eyes, and what she feels you see is not what she used to look like. Another thing that will help (if your not the sweet talking type) is to do something around the house without her asking you. Like do the dishes or vacuum. Boy does that work. I know it does for me, and my hubby appreciates the pay back.

Is it OK for me to use bright lipstick when wearing bright color clothing, or does it clash?

A rule of thumb regarding cosmetics is that you either dress up your eyes, or dress up your lips, not both. With regard to your question, when wearing a bright color clothing, its ok to use bright color lipstick, but DON'T also use bright color eye shadow to match the dress. That is a no-no.

Please help with this battle I’m having with my headstrong daughter. She loves tight clothes, but I feel it gives the wrong impression, for she looks too provocative. I tell her that to be modest with her curves gives a more mysterious look for the boys, but she is not buying it. What more can I say to change her taste in these “street walker” dresses she loves? Dotty

Dear Dotty, I know the "tight dress look" is most popular today, but you can ask her to compromise with you. Suggest that she wear a tight top OR tight bottom, but not both. If she wears a tight top, a more flowing skirt, or if she like a tight skirt, a loser top or vest or jacket will make a better choice, and you will promise to not bother her about her wardrobe, which she will like.

I wear glasses and feel it does nothing for my appearance other than making me look like a nerd or an old lady. I’ve tried contact lenses but they are too uncomfortable. I love designer lenses but my mom won’t pay the $500+ they cost. How can I look stylish with glasses that are NOT fashion forward? Nelly

Dear Nelly, I too love the Designer lenses but find they cost too much. I found some well made Designer looking frames and had my lenses put into those glasses. I know you prefer the real thing, but perhaps this might satisfy your immediate needs until your able to afford to purchase the Real Thing with the funds from your summer job.

I heard that fake nails are out and natural is in. Is that true? Pia

Dear Pia, Natural will never go out of style. The French Manicure is still strong, but I feel your natural nail is always better looking.

I love chunky necklaces, and am a bit top heavy. My boyfriend told me that I shouldn’t wear those type of necklaces, because it makes me look even more top heavy. Is his fashion tip correct? Sherie

Dear Sherie, Maybe you can suggest that he purchase you necklaces that are to his liking. After all you do want to look perfect when your together. ha, ha.

I’m getting married Jan. 2012 and will soon need to decide on my dress style. My mom doesn’t want me to get a too frilly too wide dress because I am a Plus Size and it will make me look larger. She wants me to get a more simple style, but I love the Cinderella look. Is she right, or should I go with what I love? Sharon

Dear Sharon, I think you know what looks good on you, and although your mom would never guide you wrong, this is your day, and this decision should be only yours. Your Cinderella Fairytale Wedding Day will remain in your memory and pictures forever. So, select the dress you love, look in the mirror, and chose what will be the best look for your day and Wedding Album. Congratulations!

I need your advice. I design my own plus size clothing. I think they are pretty but my boyfriend tells me that I should give up this dream for most stores only buys regular size clothing. Should I give up my dream of being a plus size clothing designer or should I continue and hope to sell to a store someday? Thanks, Margot

Dear Margot, Please don't give up your dream. Go to the nearest clothing boutique shop, and show them your clothes. There are few design companies that offer plus size, so perhaps this can become a real business once a few items sell. This is the best time for Plus Size companies to flourish, for a great percentage of ladies in America are Plus Size. Good luck & don't give up your dream.

Is it true that polka-dot, geometric and floral print fabrics make a heavy girl look thinner? Felicia

Dear Felicia, It depends on the print. Usually, if a print is large, it could make a person seem larger than they are. If the print is tighter you might be able to hide some bulges. The best bet is to use a dark color with not too many decorative accents.

I met a great guy who invited me to dinner and dancing. I am wondering if I should dress sexy with a strapless or should I be more modest? I don’t want my appearance to make the wrong impression. Tamara

Dear Tamara. A strapless dress doesn't make a bad impression unless your breasts are popping out. You can wear a simple dress, but make sure its colorful. Black, Brown or Blue is too serious for a first date, and you want to give the impression you are fun loving and confident.

Please Help. My daughter is a great student and does her choirs without balking. She just asked me for permission to get a tattoo, and says its in style, all her friends have one. How can I say “no” without sounding like an old fashion mom. Charlotte

Dear Charlotte, Explain to your daughter that tattoos are permanent and no fashion style is ever permanent. I know this will not be sufficient to dissuade her, so offer to compromise by buying her something she wanted. Be clear that this purchase is in leu of the tattoo. Im sure her friends will be so envious of her new gift that they wont give her much grief about not getting the tattoo.

I met a great guy who wants to date me, but he is my height. Although I was 3″ taller than him when we met because I was wearing stilettos, he still was interested. Would it be bad form for me to go on our first date wearing my sexy stilettos’s or should I wear flats. I do want to see him again and don’t want to offend or feel uncomfortable. What should I do? Cathy

Dear Cathy, what shoes you wear will be determined by where you go. Your first date should be casual, so you can talk and get to know each other. If he should ask, Suggest an informal restaurant so you can wear small pumps or flats with that cute colorful outfit. He will only have eyes for you no matter how short or tall you appear to be.

I love dressing up on first dates. This great guy asked me out to a movie and I just want to get all dolled up in my new red strapless dress. I understand that we are only going to a movie, but perhaps if I dress up, he might change his mind and take me to a club. Is this bad form for a first date, or should I just bite the fashion bullet and dress casual. Fashionista Carla

Dear Carla, where it is good for you to show your fashion sense, I believe you will be overdressed for a movie, unless he was taking you to a premier. Perhaps you can "suggest" that you would like to get to know him, and a movie would not allow you to talk and get to know each other. You can suggest cocktails first, and see how it goes. Maybe he will also dress up and think a club after cocktails would make a better date choice.

My beautician wants me to cut my hair short. She claims that when a lady’s age is near 50 (I’m only 46) it looks more stylish wearing your hair short. She claims that long hair is only for young girls. Is she correct, or does she only want me to pay extra every month for a trim? Can’t decide what to do. Stella

Dear Stella, I'm sure when you look in the mirror you KNOW weather you look great or not, like when your beautician does an exceptional job one day, and at a next visit, a mediocre job. Long hair has no age barrier, it looks good on some and not in others, it depends on the contour of your face, your makeup and hair style. If you like your long hair, keep it. If you want to cut, start with bangs. Now changing the color of your hair might be the new way to go.

Just me a great guy but he is soooo conservative a Republican don’t know whether I should bother with him. I’m a liberal Democrat. Should I just say “next” or give this misguided guy a chance? I really don’t want to waste my time, should I or not? Lydia

Dear Lydia, I say give this guy a chance, although he might be politically misguided (a term YOU used) he might have other qualities in common. One date does not constitute a committed relationship. If you find you are not compatible, believe me at the end of your date, you will Both know.

Although I’m a full size 200 lb. woman, with small breasts. Because I carry all my weight in the lower part of my body, I have been thinking for a while to balance my large frame with larger breasts. Should I look into “balancing” my look by increasing the size of my bust, or should I just accept my body type, although I think it’s uneven? Angaie

Dear Angaie, I always believe that we should all do what makes us feel and look good, so long as it doesn't become obsessive. You should first search your heart and ask if this surgery is really needed, and how will your life be changed by it. I say take the money you have saved for this surgery and take a fabulous vacation. Perhaps you might meet a nice guy that likes you just the way you are. Maybe a trip is what you need to get a new prospective.

My friends are “cliquish” and I’m OK with that, however, they really don’t like one of my childhood girlfriends whom I really like. Should I just separate my friendships or should I drop those selfish girls who refuse to allow friends of friends to exist. Am I delusional to expect all my friends to get along? Tabitha

Dear Tabitha, Unfortunately we don't always like the same people, and your "click" obviously wants exclusivity, and you want more. Putting it simply, You have a "history" with your childhood friend, and are making history with your new friends. Keep them all at bay and enjoy their friendships separately. That's the way of having it all.

My friends think I am crazy because I say I’m happy with my weight. I weigh 203 lbs. and am 5″7″ tall. I think I look great but my my skinny emaciated friends think I would look much better if I were thin. I have a great self image, but my friends criticism is really getting to me. Hope I’m right in thinking that I should stay as I am. Confused, please help! Stacy

Dear Stacy, wow, your friends don't really seem to be friends at all. Friends support and accept each other. Sit down with them all and be honest and tell them that although you value their friendship, you will not continue to accept their continuous hurtful badgering. Perhaps its time for you to explore new horizons, by seeking out a new class of friends.

Hope you can help me to feel better about my unconventional preferences. I am a 5’11”, man, and weigh 157 lbs and just LOVE women over 200 to 250 lbs. I feel they are have a warm personality and sexually are pretty limber despite what others may think. My friends don’t understand my choices and try to entice me with thin, busty women, thinking I will “see the light” and become what they call “normal”. Am I a freak or is it OK to like what I like? Steve

Dear Steve, So happy to hear that you are not influenced by Madison Avenue Advertisers who determine what is beauty through their ad's. Sorry to use an old cliche but "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", and you behold the beauty in Plus Size ladies. No you are not a freak, but are an independent thinking man, who knows what he wants and likes. I admire your determination to stand firm on your choice. Wish there were more men like you, who make this world a happier and more loving place for all Plus Size ladies.

Halloween is coming up and I want to dress like a Las Vegas show girl, with the glitz & glam and lots of cleavage and legs showing. Problem is that I’m a big girl (over 200 lbs) and have been told by my mom that I’m too big to show off so much skin. Should I listen to her and dress less reveling or should I just go for it and make a spectacle of myself. Shannon

Dear Shannon, I do not agree with you mom. I think the best thing about Halloween is the dressing up part, and you should have fun by dressing up in what you want. Use the outfit you want and have fun.

I like wearing 3″ heels, which makes me 6′ tall. I don’t mind short men, but find that the ones I meet are too bossy or possessive. Do you think that these short men who like tall women have control issues, or are these just the ones I’m attracting? I recently met a guy I think might be “the one”, should I succumb to his silly demands so he can feel good, or should I stand firm and demand equality? Olivia

Dear Olivia, Part of knowing that a person is "The One" is for each to discuss your wants, needs, wishes & expectations. Before you determine any future with a guy, ask him what he expects of you. Sound hard to do, but during dinner you can use an obscure friends name with a problem (like too bossy) and ask how he would handle that situation if he were the girl. You will learn much by his answer. NEVER succumb to a demand that doesn't feel right. Re-evaluate this relationship before you take it to another level.

I’m a happy newly wed. My (divorced with no kids) husband maintains a friendship with his Ex’s family. WE were invited to his ex’s sisters wedding. I really feel uncomfortable going. Should I put my foot down and tell him NO we wont go, or should I just bite the bullet and show I’m secure enough to go? Lila

Dear Lila, Because you are newly wed, your hubbies Ex would understand if you just sent your regrets for not attending, for it conflicted with the previously surprise (sexy) get away you planned. This will allow your new hubby not to feel too badly rejecting the invitation. A Win Win situation as I see it.

My boyfriend is a plus size man, and lately I find myself gaining weight perhaps to look more compatible. He refuses to diet, so I cant follow a food regimen to maintain my own weight. We are both in great health but I’m afraid if I gain too much weight he might not like my look any longer. What should I do? Marsha

Dear Marsha, the answer is simple, set a good example and just follow a healthy food regimen. It wont be easy changing his bad eating habits, perhaps preparing great desserts made of apples or cherries etc. he might learn that eating healthy doesn't mean food is not tasty. And please, gaining weight to o look compatible you know is just wrong!

I adore my wife, but she has gained 55 lbs these last 2 years, and feel it dangerous to her health. I want to give her a year membership to a health club as a Christmas gift, but am concerned that she might think I’m falling out of love because of her weight. She is beautiful to me no matter what weight, but feel this gift might help her change her eating habits. Should I or should I not purchase this membership? Dont want to offend her. Sal

Dear Sal, Your intention is good but it would sound better if you said that you want to begin the new year with a new outlook for BOTH of you. Hope this membership included you, then you can make it fun together. Perhaps you can re-package it as a New Years Resolution gift for you both.

I’m 16 years old and want to pierce my nose, and get a tattoo on my neck. My mom is so ridiculous and old fashion and doesn’t understand that all the kids my age are doing it. I’m not taking drugs or drinking, I just want a fashion look that I love. Am I wrong? Hope you don’t say Mom is right. Margo

Dear Margo, I understand the importance of being in fashion, but these fashion trends you want are PERMANENT. Maybe if you just used the fake tattoos that come off in 2 weeks, then maybe you can change the tattoo with each outfit, as for the piercing, they now have glue on jewelry that appears to be actual pierced jewelry. Try that first before going through the PAIN and PERMANENT procedure involved with this fashion style that will soon be "out-of-fashion". Try that first, and let me know next season if you made the right fashion choice.

I’m a 37 year old married woman who married her childhood sweetheart at 18, and feel life has passed me by. I want to leave my husband because I feel bored and unhappy, and want to experience single life. My husband is loving and a good provider but I feel I will explode if I don’t have a change. Am I going through a mid life crisis? Don’t know what to do, but I do know some change is needed. Desperate Dottie

Dear Desperate Dottie, I'm not a psychologist but it does seem you are going through some emotional crisis. Perhaps you should visit a family therapist or marriage counselor, or better yet, get a hobby. Maybe you can begin a small business online, or design an accessory and sell it to a neighborhood boutique. Or join a fan club. I feel you need something to challenge you, so then you can better appreciate what you have. A good and loving man is hard to find, and I don't recommend you leave in haste.

I just love wearing lots of eye makeup and bright lipstick, but my friends all like the “natural look”, which I never did. Am I committing a fashion foe-pa by wearing too much color on my face, or should I learn to adapt to the “natural” style. “Made up” Phoebe

Dear Phoebe, Its the Holiday season and dressing up is acceptable. However, perhaps for work your eyes should not be so made up, but red lipstick is fine. Your friends should be used to your style. Dress for yourself, not your friends.

I have a girlfriend that’s like a sister to me, however, I extremely dislike her friends. My friend feels that its jealousy, but I told her it is not. Should I tell her that I dislike her friends, or should I just accept her and her friends and deal with it. Shandra

Dear Shandra, Guess you really know the answer to this. If you want to keep your friend, then you should accept her choice in friends, however, you can arrange activity dates where you can have alone time. Just don't plan too much in advance so she wont extend invitations to her unwelcome friends.

I recently met a guy who I like, but he doesn’t have a job. The holidays are coming up and I think that perhaps he will feel badly for not being able to buy me a gift, then maybe he may not, and feel I should understand. How long should I keep up this relationship when money is an issue? Should I just drop him, or should I wait until he gets a job? Confused and Not Greedy Michelle

Dear Michelle, Most relationships fail due to money problems. If he has RECENTLY been laid off, then give him a chance to find a job. If he has been out of a job longer than 6 mos, then you might have a problem. As for the Holiday gifts, that's not important as is spending time with people you love. Wait until the New Year before making your decision.

I recently had a face lift, and told my friends I was going on a 4 week trip as the excuse for not being around. Should I tell them where I really was (home recovering from Surgery) or should I just let them think I look great and well rested? Olga

Dear Olga, It is your prerogative to keep this surgery to yourself. Perhaps you should just wait until your friends notice the difference and confess to having the surgery, but keeping it to yourself is sometimes the best option.

My sister and I share a credit card, and she admits to being a shopaholic, but now it’s holiday time and I’m afraid to take her shopping because she will max out the card, and I will have to pay half, which is not fair. How do I restrict a card that belongs to us both, without sounding like an cheap ogre. Sofie

Dear Sofie, We always overspend during the holidays so that is expected, however, perhaps you should set a spending limit for each when shopping. You should both agree not spend more than (an amount). Keep a pad when something is purchased so you can track the purchases. Finally, YOU should have sole possession of the card for now. She wont like it, but will understand. Happy Holidays!

My girlfriend doesn’t want to talk to me any more. We both have opposing political views and our differences became overheated in our last talk. So now I think I lost a friend. Should I try to make up with her or should I just seek out friends that have similar beliefs as mine so this won’t happen. Mercedes

Dear Mercedes, It would be great if we can program friends to be our clones, but unfortunately we all have our differences, and we must adjust to them otherwise we will be alone and with no friends. Try to talk to your friend to see where you stand, if she feels your differences are too much for her to handle, then she already made the choice to not continue the friendship. Time to then seek out a new friend.

I just found out my boyfriend likes soft porn. No sexual or explicit scenes just women with bikinis. Should I confront him or should I just let him have his fun online. Hes great with me, but am worried that it might blossom into something worse, like hard porn. Help Babs

Dear Babs, All men like a little visual diversion now & then. If his is FREE then don't worry. If he is paying for these pix, then it can escalate into a costly habit. To confront him means you want him to give it up, which he will not. Optimum word here is visual, with no actual contact. So let him enjoy for now his Visual entertainment online, and only discuss it if it becomes a problem in your relationship.

I love going to the movies and my boyfriend does not. He just loves sports and the different seasonal games is all that is watched on TV. He sometimes buys tickets to the games and when he buys me a ticket I should be thrilled, which I am not. How do I get him to enjoy stuff I like, or should I just accept that all guys love sports, and dont expect more. Marcy

Dear Marcy, Whereas most men love sports, most women love shopping. Perhaps you can take him on a shopping spree and when he begins to complain you mention that shopping is a woman's sport, and you want him to enjoy your sport. When he complains just mention how you sit through a season, where you are asking him to spend just a day or two. I think he will get the hint and take you to the movies as a better substitute for shopping.

My Daughter loves lifting weights and has developed defined muscles. She recently told me that she wanted to compete in a State Junior Weightlifting Tournament. I am horrified. I think this can lead to steroid use and maybe body deformity in her later years, especially affecting her reproductive organs. Should I dissuade her from this latest hobby or should I support her. Worried Mom

Dear Worried Mom, When the latest Heath statistics report a 60% increase of obesity among young people, you should be proud that your daughter has selected a sport that offers an eating and exercise regimen that is healthy, nutritious and character building. There is no proof that rigorous exercise diminishes ability to bear children. So please support your daughter for she will make you proud and set a positive example to her peers.

My 13 year old son has shocked me! I caught him wearing his sister’s clothes. I am horrified at the thought that he might be gay. I come from an orthodox Catholic family and have always taught that being gay is wrong and immoral. What do I do if my son is gay? Should I punish him or should I ignore it, and perhaps he will not do it again. Confused & Horrified Mom

Dear Horrified Mom, There is a possibility that your son might be gay, or he was just fooling around. Whichever it is, as a parent it is your responsibility to support him, unless he was doing something illegal (like drugs), which he is not. Talk to him "calmly" and ask him. It might be a shock to you, but perhaps it's now time to test all those Christian teaching you learned, and accept those different from you.

I love the theater and my significant other prefers sporting events. He is happy with me enjoying his games, purchasing costly tickets, and thinking that I am so pleased. Guess I’m to blame for I’ve never told him that I prefer theater tickets once in a while. Now it has gone too far and he wants to buy season tickets. How do I stop him from this expensive hobby and admit my own preferences without damaging our happy relationship. Scared to confront. Sally

Dear Sally. Perhaps you should buy tickets to your favorite event and expect him to go. Then if he doesn't like it, gently remind him that you enjoy his pastime, just because He likes it, and that you would like the same consideration. If he doesn't get the hint, then just go with your friends to the theater. Why damage a great relationship just because of different entertainment preferences.

I just discovered I have a twin brother. I feel angry at my parents for keeping this from me and can’t accept any reason that will console me from this loss. They refuse to explain the reason why they separated us. Should I forgive them or demand an explanation? Tamara

Dear Tamara, i am sure your parents feel terrible about the decision they obviously had to make that separated you from your brother. I think you should not waste time being angry with your parents and concentrate on getting to know your brother. Time will teach you the true reasons behind your parents decision. Enjoy your brother, you have a lot of catching up to do.

Dear Sue. You are not being funny when you point out our frailties and imperfections to others, it screams that you just want their pity or really feel badly about yourself. Also, NEVER, never point out your body imperfections in front of your boyfriend or significant other. Perhaps your boyfriend might hove not noticed your imperfections until you brought it up, also it gives him and others insight to your how to verbally hurt you. Keep your imperfections to yourself PLEASE, no one who really loves you really cares.

I am overweight and I guess to protect myself I point out my body imperfections, in a joking manner, to all who are around me. My friends tell me not to do it, especially in front of my boyfriend. Are my friends right, or should I just keep on being funny me. Funny girl Sue

I have always loved the typical small Western nose. Mine is wide and obviously typical of my Asian ethnicity. I’m dating a plastic surgeon who said he would taper my nose, but I want it really narrow, and he refuses because he said it would not look natural. If I wanted to look natural I would keep what I have. Should I listen to him or should I find another plastic surgeon who will provide me with what I want? Pia

Dear Pia, The "exotic" look is what most American like, and can't have. I realize you are not happy with your nose, but feel you should listen to your boyfriend who sounds like a illegitimately caring guy. If you MUST do the surgery I say do it with a doctor who has your best interest in mind. You can always find another doctor, but doubt if he or she would sincerely care as much.

If I had to look at you in the face, I probably wouldn’t ask you this. I love intimate relations in the dark, whereas my boyfriend loves all the lights on. I tell him that bright light is not a mood maker, yet he argues that he loves looking at me and my reaction, which I become conscious of, and begin to pose so I wont look spastic. Who is right here. I say darkness sets a romantic mood, and he says light sets the romance for him. What should I do? Help, Alberta

Der Alberta, You are both right. Perhaps in your case, compromise by adding some candle light, so it wont be so bright, at the same time provide the light he needs to excite him. Just don't tell him that you don't want him to notice your fat, nor cellulite, for he might not have noticed it until you brought it up. Keep the romance fiery by allowing him see how you enjoy him, for that will make him feel like a king and you with a satisfied smile on your face.

I’m a practicing Catholic and married a practicing Jew. We are happy but now that I’m pregnant, my husband wants my son to be circumcised, and I don’t want that. When we married we agreed if we had children we would introduce him/her to both our beliefs, but it’s not fair that his belief require such a drastic body deforming tradition. Am I right to insist that this ceremony by omitted from our future sons religious education. Ronda

Dear Ronda, you said you both agreed to education your children in both religions, but it should not include any body altering on either part. Since circumcision is a permanent condition, it should not be given to a child that is being taught dual faiths. Let him decide when he is older if this is the direction he will want to take. I believe that is fair, but the final decision is with both of you. Good Luck, and Congratulations.

I am 30 lbs overweight, but am in perfect health according to my latest physical. Should I lose weight or is my healthy condition telling me to stay the way I am. I hate diets and am happy with my look, however, all the news reports say being overweight can cause cancer, diabetes and other assorted illnesses. Don’t know what to do. Tiffany

Dear Tiffany, Sounds like you really answered your own questions. You said you are happy with your look and are in perfect health, so why mess with perfection. So long as you stay the weight you are its obviously works for you, but if you begin to gain more weight, you might want to consider a mini-diet to at least maintain the weight that reported you healthy.

I am a 38 year old in love with a 24 year old guy. I realized it was wrong, but we look so good together that I just felt why not. I never thought I would actually fall in love with him, but I did. Should I give him up before it get too serious, or should I just ride it (excuse the pun) for the time that it lasts? I’m practical and know nothing lasts forever, but don’t want a broken heart. Confused Cristine

Dear Cristine, in matters of the heart all depends on your ability to accept what the future brings. In love there is never any guarantee, so why not continue with a relationship that seems to bring you both happiness. If it works out for the long haul great, if it doesn't you would have had great memories, whichever happens, you will be the winner. However, you should understand that sometimes, age differences can bring complications. Go with your heart, thats the best advice I can offer.

I’m 18 and just got an opportunity to leave the country (to Milan) for a modeling shoot. I have a boyfriend that I adore, but he cant leave the country because he is still in college. I dont want to lose him, but feel if I leave it will make it easy for him to find someone else. What should I do? Should I go to Milan, or just wait and finish school and wait for another opportunity. Can’t Decide Janet

Dear Janet. If this modeling opportunity is legitimate I suggest you run not walk towards it. Modeling has an age restriction and expecting it it to come along again is not advisable. In matters of the heart, if your relationship is "meant to be", it will sustain itself for the time you are away. Never miss an opportunity that might affect the rest of your life. I think you already know what you should do.

I’m a 30 lbs overweight girl just invited to the Hampton’s for the week end. I’m thinking of NOT going because I wont be able to wear the flimsy clothes and bathing suits that everyone else wears, and I don’t want to be mocked or embarrassed. Should I go and just wear my cut off jeans or should I just accept I wont blend in with those girls wearing their designer clothes? Sumner

Dear Sumner, the fact that you were invited to the Hampton's should tell you that you already "blend-in" with the girls. Remember its you that will determine weather you are part of the group, not them, and whoever doesn't want to be your friend would not change their mind if you were 30 lbs less. Confidence is the key, and if you just be yourself, Have fun and never restrict yourself from anything because of weight.

I gave up a lucrative career to raise my daughter. I opened a college fund for her which my husband objected to because he believes that she will give up her career to raise her child and the education would have been lost. I totally disagree with him, but understand this effort must be a dual responsibility. Is he right or am I? Terry

Dear Terry, Recent statistics have documented that more woman are graduating, and more men are dropping out of college. Because woman are more educated, they earn more, and have become the primary wage earner in todays family, thus more men are opting to become the children's caretaker. In addition, the cost of education in the future will be very high, so its best to prepare early. Keep on saving for your daughters future, and I'm sure your husband will understand.

To entertain my recently unemployed husband I hired an exotic dancer to dance for him every Sunday, and I would take pictures of him dancing with her. One day I came home early because I was ill, and found the exotic dancer, dancing with my husband. I immediately thought to look at the secret emergency stash ($1,000) and found only $100 left. I confronted my husband and he said only that one day he hired the dancer. I confronted the dancer at a later date and she confessed that my husband hired her for the full week. Did I bring this problem onto myself by introducing this to my husband and accept the loss, or should he at least pay me back the money? He said it belongs to both of us. Who is wrong here? Zelda

Dear Zelda, WHY did you accept this type of entertainment for your husband in the first place. I know you want to entertain him while he's unemployed but perhaps it would have been better for you to purchase a "how to" tape on a subject he likes, like fixing stuff or computers or playing an instrument etc. As for his paying you back, he wont be able to if he's unemployed, so perhaps he might make money out of a hobby, then he might pay back half, since you should share responsibility here.

I am a 25 year old girl whose boyfriend has decided he wanted to continue his education while I work on my career. I have heard stories how men leave their supportive girlfriends once they enter their career profession, and I’m afraid that this will happen to me. Should I demand that my boyfriend find a job and pay his share of the bills, or should I have faith that he will stick by me once he is finally in his high paying profession? Unsure Linda

Dear Linda, There are no guarantees in life, especially in matters of the heart. You know deep down if he is the type of person who is using you for room and board or he is genuinely in love with you with an intent for a future life. You are the only one that can answer that question. Delve deep inside your heart for the answer.

I would like to begin my own business, but have limited capital. I design plus size clothes. Don’t know what to do, should I give up this dream or should I just try to sell them to my friends before I go to a store? I don’t want to make a mistake that will jeopardize my future chances. Scared Millie

Dear Millie, Don't be afraid of rejection, that is the first and most important advice I can offer. Show a few of your pieces to a neighborhood store and just ask what they think. Store owners are notoriously honest and will advise you whether the item has a good or bad style, and offer suggestions for improvement. If by chance you find a store that actually loves the item and wants to sample a few, then you know you are on the right track. Either way, don't give up your dream. Go for it!

I’ve been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at my friends house but I know there will be a person there I don’t like, should I not go to avoid this person or should I go and accept the good with the bad?

Dear Sue, first you couldn't possibly be anti social because you would not have been invited in the first place. Accept that you nor any of us will love everyone we meet, so unless you want to be perpetually alone you must change your attitude and accept that personality diversity is all around us.

I just met a great guy two weeks ago that I really like. The holidays are coming and I’m wondering if I should buy him an expensive gift. I don’t want to seem too eager although I think he might be the “one”. What should I do?! Marlow

Dear Marlow, All depends on where and with whom he will be celebrating the Holidays with. Perhaps a scarf or wool gloves might say I'm thinking of you with no commitment attached. Or just get something simple that he might get a laugh out of. That will show you have a great sense of humor without seeming too pushy. Remember guys always chase after those who show lukewarm interest.

I’m a sexy 54 year old woman who is in love with a hot 37 year old man. He has proposed to me, but Im so very scared of revealing my age, that I am stalling with my answer. He thinks I’m 42 and I have let him think so for the 8 months we have been together. I’m afraid that if I reveal my true age, he will not look at me the same way, and that would kill me. Should I reveal my age or should I continue to live the age lie. Scared of Rejection Fran

Dear Fran, I'm sure you know the answer to this question. How does he behave towards your friends that are probably your actual age, and has he commented on older ladies in a negative manner. Once you are with a man for so long you can really tell his true feeling towards others, especially those older than him. If the time comes when you are BOTH ready to commit, age will not matter. I'm sure you already know that.

I recently invited the 16 year old daughter of my best friend to stay with me, but she is always flirting with my husband and making inappropriate gestures in the name of “fun”. Should I talk to her, or to my husband about curbing the flirtations? Don’t want to seem jealous, but it’s too much already! Annoyed Belle

Dear Belle, The 16 year old is not a baby and knows what she is doing, so have a "sit down" with her and let her know that her behavior is unacceptable and will jeopardize her stay. Your friend should also be told that her daughters behavior is upsetting the harmony of your household and should consider other visiting options unless the flirtatious behavior is stopped. Don't feel you will lose a friend, respect is foremost in any friendship, and your friend SHOULD understand.

I recently had a baby and kept 31 lbs of my 60 lb weight gain. My husband refuses to be intimate with me until I lose the 31 lbs, and claims it’s an “incentive to lose the weight”. Do you think it’s an appropriate incentive, or is he just a putz? Unsure Millie

Dear Millie, Its totally inappropriate. Perhaps you should PUNISH him the same way. If he likes your cooking, perhaps you should stop cooking for him, or if her expects his clothes washed, that too you should boycott. Find something he likes and expects from you and just STOP doing it. Put a condition on it that is also unreasonable, so he can understand what he is doing is equally egregious. Payback is a b--ch, but sometimes it does work.

I am considered “heavy” (size 18) but feel and look “hot”. I have tried to lose weight, but have a hard time of it. I’m a “fashionista” and notice that all the great styles are in smaller sizes, should I try to lose weight to be in style, or should I just stay as I am and try harder to find stylish and designer clothes wherever. Not sure, but happy Nell

Dear Nell, We are not all made to be a size 2, and there are many plus size ladies who are happy with their look and size. I say, look harder on the internet for clothes in your size, for they are out there. Even ARMANI, CALVIN KLEIN etc. recognizes that Plus Size is important and are offering their designs in larger sizes. Go to Salon Z at Saks Fifth Ave, and you will find fantastic choices. Go Girl.

I just lost my aunt whom I was really close with, but have never had a great relationship with my uncle, is it bad form to just ignore him because my aunt is not around, or should I try to establish a relationship with him because he is family no matter how distant. Or should I wait for him to look for me? Rhonda

Dear Rhonda, I'm sure your uncle will appreciate your remembering him, especially during these difficult times. I also think your aunt will be happy that you will continue to offer your joyous personality to a man she loved. OK that he was not your favorite uncle, but he is family and perhaps your relationship can blossom into a warm and friendly one.

I frequent a bar with girlfriends weekly and the bartender is always so nice. Recently he asked me for a date and I was thrilled. Bought new outfit, did my hair and prepped for the date. I was stood up. He didn’t even call, nor has he called since. Should I confront him or should I find another bar? Sonia

Dear Sonia, I would go to the same bar, flirt with him, and after a few bar visits, (that will assure him your not angry), turn up with some movie tickets and ask him out. Naturally you would have exchanged the tickets for an earlier showing. Payback is a Bastard.

I really don’t want to get married, but my mom insists that all NORMAL girls want to get married and have children. I’m concerned that my thinking is abnormal, although I don’t really feel I am. Am I normal or is my mom right? Meagan

Dear Meagan. A report just came out showing how most couples are opting NOT to get married. If you are happy with your life, and don't become "jealous" when you see your friends showing off their kids and husbands, go with what is right for you. Your mom is perhaps concerned that you wont have someone to protect and support you, and means well. We are all individuals with our own individual tastes, so don't feel bad about your life preferences.

I’m a 24 year old living with my mom. She now has a boyfriend that I’m terribly attracted to (not reciprocal) and I think that I should move out before I do or say something stupid. What should I do? Myra

Dear Myra, perhaps its time to go out there and find your own life and man. What you want is to be loved and its a challenge and hard work to go out there and find it. These thoughts are a definite "no-no", and before you do or say something you will regret, go spread your wings and fly. Your old enough to have your own place. You will be happier than you think, I guarantee it!

This weekend I hung out with my gal friends and went to the movies and saw my best friends husband with another girl very touchy-feely. Don’t know what to do. Should I tell my girlfriend or should I just not get involved? Fern

Dear Fern, Perhaps you should take your friends husband to the side and tell him you saw him and his "friend" at the movies. Ask HIM what should you do. This would not only shock him, but perhaps he will mend his ways. If he continues his bad behavior don't worry, your best friend will notice and MAYBE take action, but its not up to you to force her hand.

My sister and I are always butting heads for something or another. I just turned 45 and feel I no longer want to battle with her for she is toxic and causes me stress many days after a visit with her. Question is, should I “write her off” or accept that we are just different? Impatient Sis, Myra

Dear Myra, Guess you answered your own question. We are all different, and sometime we just have to work with what we have. This happens in the office, with friends and definitely with siblings. What to do? Accept her "good points" and ignore the bad. Sometimes we "accept" things from boyfriends or husbands for the sake of harmony, so learn to do the same with family.

Is cleavage in or out? My friends told me it’s too tacky to show cleavage and it looks cheap. My “boobs” are not that big so I help them out with an extra small bra size that push them up. Should I use the smaller bra that helps with my cleavage or not? Boob fashionista Libby

Dear Libby. Guess the "cleavage" issue is ok, but depends on where you are using it. School, Work, Church are non-boob friendly. If you are going to a club or a bar, guess its ok, but understand that you are creating an image of yourself that might not be accurate. In other words, guys might interpret that as your being "easy" and I know you certainly don't want that.

I just met the man of my dreams, he just proposed, but doesn’t really know my true age nor that i’m menopausal. The problem is that I get terrible night sweats and am fearful that he will find out once we go on a long trip. Things get so bad and the sweats become so profuse, that I sometimes need to change my bed sheets. Should I confess or should I stay quiet. Scaired Sue

Dear Sue, Guess sooner or later you will have to confess that your age comes with a possible menopause condition. However, if you dont have to tell it, try to hold off as much as you can for men might label you the dreaded "old" which is a horrible thing to hear, even if in jest. I have always though that volunteering intimate info to your significant other might cause them to look at you differently, and we certainly dont want to chance that.

My boyfriend of a month confessed that only when we marry will he shower me with loving words on a regular basis. He is nice to me, but says that loving words are given to a spouse. I’m kind of scared to think of a life without loving words means he does not care. Am I being silly to think that words are necessary in a loving relationship, after all if a man treats you well, why are the words necessary anyway? Confused and bewildered JoAnn

Dear JoAnn, Loving Words are necessary in all types of relationships. At work its nice to hear the your boss LOVES your work, with your friends it nice to hear that they LOVE your company and in the bedroom, I needn't express its importance, its like a cake without icing. If you boyfriend is not offering you the words you need, perhaps you should ask him what is the problem. Maybe he saw how they were not said with sincerity, or he felt they were not accompanied by kind acts. Does he love to hear them from you. if he does, then he knows their importance. Perhaps a few more months with him will give him the comfort he needs to express them. If not, NEXT.

I received an invitation from my “ex” to go to dinner, and “just be friends”. We did not have an ugly break up, and I do have fond memories of him, but I was the one who initiated the break up. He married 2 years ago, and said he is happy, and I believe he genuinely wants a “friendship”, but I feel uncomfortable with it. Am I wrong to think it’s wrong to meet, or am I being too sensitive and guilty? What to do, Debbie

Dear Debbie, The most important thing in any friendship is feeling comfortable. If your NOT comfortable perhaps that is a good reason not to meet. I'm sure he means well and genuinely likes you, and wants to be your friend, but do you feel the same? If you feel his friendship will cause you grief then don't go, otherwise, go meet your old beau and see what he has to say. Believe me, in the first few minutes you will see how genuine he is or not. Talking old times is always fun, so long as there are good memories, and you seem to have had some with him to recall.

I am a messy lady living with a anal super clean boyfriend. Obviously the problem is obvious. I do love it when things are in order, and clean, but when I get home I’m so tired that I just don’t bother to pick up after myself, which he does. He said he can’t live like this any longer, what should I do? I love him and don’t want to lose him. Sloppy Fern

Dear Fern, Do I really have to tell you what to do, I think you know. Clean up after yourself! It seems to become a bad habit to just drop everything, especially when you have someone to clean up after you. Begin slowly to recognize your habits and just correct them little by little. It will become second nature to you soon, and you will become the ideal mate for the "clean-a-holic" man you have. He will be happy, and so will you. Hey, that might mean you have time to go out and have fun at a club. That sounds good right!?

My (2 year) live in boyfriend is a slob, and has become very used to me picking up after him. While it was OK in the beginning, I come home tired and find that picking up his underwear from the floor has become annoying and tedious. I am now ready to call this relationship quits because I cant take it any longer. How do I teach him to clean up after himself, or is there no hope? Clean Jean

Dear Jean, Why has it taken 2 years to correct his bad habit? Like a child, you MUST teach good habits early for it will become hard to do after it has become an "acceptable" habit. Guess its time for you to use the "reward and punishment". Select a corner of the room for all his underwear and let it pile up. When she no longer has underwear to wear, perhaps he will take it upon himself to do the laundry. If this doesn't work, then don't cook or do any of those things he loves about you and hold back until he cleans up. If neither of this works then you have a decision to make, for he is refusing to respect your needs and that's a clear indicator of what to expect his behavior to be long term.

My dad is mean to me because I’m overweight. He thinks that embarrassing me in public will prompt me to diet and be the skinny cheerleader that was once my mom. Although my mom has been more understanding, she does not call him on his verbally mean comments, for perhaps she thinks that I should think better of myself and diet. I was a 9 lb baby so weight has always been an issue. I’m 30 lbs overweight, and really think I look OK, but when family says I don’t look good it challenges my opinion of myself. Should I lose weight or accept myself as is? Bonnie

Dear Bonnie, Obviously your dad has issues with weight. Perhaps he was heavy when young, or was mocked by his friends for something and doesn't want you to go through the same pain, why else would he be so critical, especially since 30lbs is Not so health challenging. You stated you feel you look OK, is OK enough for you? If it is, then stay where you are, but If you think you could look better, then lose 10lbs, and that should give you the confidence to shirk off all unsolicited critical comments. Most important of all is to please yourself, others, including family comes later.

I HATE makeup except for a little lip gloss. All my friends try to “make-me-up” and I feel ridiculous once I see myself in the mirror. Is is BAD not to want to wear make-up? Why should I try to cover up my flaws, if I meet a guy, he should accept me as I am. Am I wrong? Fatima

Dear Fatima, It's interesting that you chose friends that like to be "made up". Where it is good to look "natural", it is part of most girls grooming habits to "fix up" and color-up a bit. and its FUN. It is not wrong for anyone to see you "as is" but you did mention you have cosmetic flaws, and perhaps you should consider a minimal cover up, for those flaws might give an impression that you are healthy We advise you to use a bit of makeup when seeking employment, otherwise, if you feel comfortable without it, stay as you are. You friend will love you either way I'm sure.

I’m a 31 year old new bride, whose mother in law insists on greeting me with the “are your pregnant yet” comment. I have no intention of having a child until at least 36 and If I admitted that to her she would be intolerable. As it already goes she rants that my eggs are getting old as we speak. I don’t want to be disrespectful to her, but I’m at wits end, and my hubby says nothing, what should I do? Angry Annie

Dear Annie, I think your husband should take his mom to the side and ask her to please stop badgering you, for it upsets you and defeats the purpose. If that doesn't work, you should take her to lunch and "gently" discuss how her comments are upsetting for they make you feel you are not a good wife, which you are. If neither works, perhaps you should minimize her visits to your house which will send her the clear message you are not happy. One of these should work for sure.

My girlfriend Sandy has a friend that I totally HATE. She is a first class phony and has even been caught ‘STEALING’. My girlfriend says I should accept her friend because they know each other from High School, and feels sorry for her, but I just cant. My girlfriend says I’m making her ‘CHOOSE” between the two and she does not want to. Don’t know what to do! Linda

Dear Linda, There is nothing you can do other than continue to be friends with Sandy. It is not up to YOU to choose Sandy's friends, just like Sandy would be wrong if she insisted that YOU give up a cherished friend. Be happy with the friendship you have or just get rid of it altogether.

I live in Tx, and recently found a small caliber gun in my 21 year old daughter’s sock drawer. I confronted her and she said it is to protect ME, for there have been some break ins in my neighborhood. I’m mortified and feel it’s not a protector but a problem. I demanded that she get rid of it am I wrong, or does she have a right as an adult? Confused Mom Sandie

Dear Sandie, Don't know what the laws are in Texas, but in New York, a license is needed to own a gun. Did she get a license? Then there is the fact that your daughter is living in your house, so there are YOUR rules she must consider. Just as she expects you to respect her, you too require respect and house rules adhered to. Perhaps she can help pay for a house security system to assure her your safety. Otherwise, there is no choice but to tell her the gun must go, and will accompany her to your local Police Dept. to deliver the gun.

My boyfriend takes a shower only ONCE a week, and it makes me cringe when I have to sleep next to this cesspool, let alone have passionate sex with him. I have told him that this life style of his has to change or our relationship will change to No-Sex at all. Only then does he shower. What should I do to change his mind about his personal hygiene habits? Desperate Cindy

Dear Cindy, Easy solution! Make a "habit" of taking showers TOGETHER, then you can kill two birds with one stone as they say. I just know. you know, what I mean. It will make you both happy.

I’m a 20 year old white Southern girl who is attracted to a black boy in my college. I told my mom, and although she says we are all God’s children, she feels that a relationship with a black man might cause problems that I am not prepared for. I think she is old fashion and doesn’t understand that now it’s acceptable, but I’m really not sure. What should I do? Should I forget him, or should I overlook my moms concerns. Confused Lilly

Dear Lilly, You mom wants the best for you but you seem to be "unsure" about your feelings. When you meet someone you wish to have a "relationship" with, usually there are no doubts, no matter how much flack you receive from others. You should always be sure about who you decide to have a relationship with, otherwise Don't even consider it. I say, look for someone you might be more sure about, for this college attraction seems to be more of a curiosity than a genuine boyfriend interest.

I am tired all the time, perhaps it’s because I get only 3 to 4 hrs of sleep. I have my own computer business, and become so involved in my research, that I lose track of time. My family tells me it’s unhealthy to only get such little sleep. Are they right? I read that some people only need 4 hrs sleep, perhaps I’m one of them. Tired Stella

Dear Stella, the fact that you began your note with that your "tired" speaks volumes about your health. Obviously your body is telling you that 3 to 4 hrs sleep is not enough, so listen to your body and do the right thing. Begin with a set time to sleep, no matter what. Select a comfortable hour every night, shut down your computer, and just go to bed, once you do this for 2 weeks straight it will become a habit, and its definitely more healthy for you, as well as provide you with the brain needed for a job well done. Try it.

Which is better for your health, coffee or tea. I like them both, but don’t really know if using both will counter act the health benefits of the other. Should I continue to use both, or should I give up one to get optimal health benefits from the healthier choice? Tamara

Dear Tamara, This question is like asking if which is better, a dog or a cat. They are both great and depends on your own preference. As for health matters, coffee and tea both have caffeine, so there is similarities there. However, there are antioxidant benefits in green tea, and haven't heard the same about coffee, although recent studies have shown coffee to help with body inflammation. Sorry cant answer this question because I too like both, I prefer coffee in the morning to lend me a boost, then take tea in the afternoon and night.

I have a cherished girlfriend who made friends with a girl who is a known “user”. I have tried to advise my friend against this girl, but she just says I’m jealous of her new friendship. I know this “user” for years, and know the girls who have dropped her. Am I being a bad friend by letting her learn for herself, or should I bring out what she did to others. Protective Jene

Dear Jene, There is nothing you can do other that "wait it out". Your girlfriend will either find out for herself, or just allow the "user" to exist in her life. Sometimes some people like being used, for it makes them feel loved. Just continue to be the good friend that you are, and enjoy the time you have with your girlfriend.

I have an old friend that did not finish school and knows nothing about the computer. She is very sensitive about her lack of knowledge and whenever I offer to teach her, she changes the subject. Her husband recently died and now she is alone and lonely and I just know that the computer would provide her with entertainment and purpose. Should I now gently insist that her learning the computer would be beneficial, or should I just butt out and let her be. Good intentions Fern

Dear Fern, I know your intentions are good, but timing is of the most importance here. Perhaps she could begin learning the computer with a cell phone. If you have an old one handy maybe you could entice her with that most important communication tool, otherwise I think you should allow her time to realize that there is a world out there that requires some computer skills to enjoy its benefits. She already knows you would teach her, so allow her to ask you when she is ready.

I recently met a wonderful soldier that I believe is my soul mate. The only thing is that he lives in another state. I’m in Chicago and he lives in Kentucky. My question is, should I pursue this guy even though he is geographically unsuitable, or should I let time determine our destiny. Maybe I sound romantic, but I really think he is ‘THE ONE”. Romantic Freda

Dear Freda, There is much to learn about this soldier. Is he attached, married, engaged, seeing someone, you did not touch on this, only that he is your "soul-mate". Sometimes we ladies get caught up in the moment of romance and neglect to ask questions about a persons background. Also it does put a damper on the moment, but it is necessary, especially if you see a life with this person. Continue to communicate with him and yes, time and distance will determine the future of the relationship. When true love is involved, no distance can really keep one away,

I’ve read that you recommend us big ladies not use clothes too tight, but I love my leggings and tight dresses. I found this sparkly tight dress that I want to wear to my sisters wedding, but she says it’s not appropriate. I really think I look hot in it, and feel I should wear what I think is best for me. Then again it’s my sisters wedding, so perhaps she should have some say in my choice of dresses. Don’t know what to do? Ebony

Dear Ebony, You answered your own question. Yes, its your sisters wedding and she definitely has the right to request that you wear something that will reflect on her and the family. You can wear that special dress for her engagement party or shower, but if she does not want you to wear it at the wedding, you should not give her a hard time, after all, she needs you there for support, not to challenge her.

I just lost 90 lbs and look fabulous. I will be attending a college reunion and want to know if I should flaunt my appearance by wearing sexy tight clothes, or should I just wear something simple, so as not to seem like I’m showing off. Modest Abby

Dear Abby, Flaunt your new look with pride. You can wear something form fitting, but try not to show too much skin. A tight fitting dress would be great to show off your curves with modesty and style.

I’m a single mom with two young boys, and am concerned that the 11 year old will not care for the 6 year old while I’m out. I ask him to care for him while I’m out food shopping, but he says “no”. Should I insist that he watch his younger brother or should I bring the younger boy with me shopping? Single Mom Terry

Dear Terry, 11 year old boys are not that nurturing, and might challenge the younger one to compete with him, which might have a disastrous result. Perhaps its best for you to take the younger one shopping with you.

I’m in my late 30s and living with my cantankerous dad who is getting worse by the minute. He criticizes all I do and say, and is making me feel not worthy of anything or anyone. Should I look for my own place or should I just accept and ignore his behavior, for he’s just getting old and cranky? Anim

Dear Anim, Sounds like you have neglected your own life to care for your dad. If he's not an invalid then let him be, so long as hes not putting himself in danger. Other than his dangerous mouth, I think your on easy street, for all you have to do is ignore his negativity and repeat to yourself that its old age talking. If you are unable to do this, then perhaps a move might be best, otherwise stay put and live YOUR own life and be happy.

I just met the man of my dreams, he just proposed, but doesn’t really know my true age nor that i’m menopausal. The problem is that I get terrible night sweats and am fearful that he will find out once we go on a long trip. Things get so bad and the sweats become so profuse, that I sometimes need to change my bed sheets. Should I confess or should I stay quiet? Scared Sue

Dear Steffie, You should be enjoying your new "look" and stop worrying about regaining weight back. Clothes are not the issue here, its your brain that still hasn't resolved the eating problem that caused the weight gain in the first place. If you eat healthy and do moderate exercise, this problem will not be an issue, what might become an issue is the new fab clothes you now want to buy.

I read that wearing fake nails is unhealthy. I have been doing my nails for years, and find that if a nail breaks off, my finger nail begins to ache. Should I stop using fake nails or is the hype about health problems caused by fake nails, just limited to a few cases? Marie

Dear Marie, The ache you speak about is your nail exposed to air when protective oils are diminished because of the severe coatings placed on top. The nail pain is telling you something. By the way, the "natural" look is "IN" so why are you using fake nails? Try just getting a manicure to let your nails "breathe" and grow. That's the healthy way to go.

My husband recently saw his ex wife, and she is now homeless and he wants to bring her to live with us temporarily. He said its only for a few weeks before public assistance assigns her a location to live. I said absolutely NO, but he thinks I’m being selfish and cruel. Am I? I think not, please advise. Bebe

Dear Bebe. I say absolutely not. There are the Catholic Charities, or Salvation Army or neighborhood churches that can help, but your accepting his ex in your house spells and smells like trouble. You pay for a few day in Motel 6 and thats it, and YOU make it your job to find her a place to live, Im sure she has some family member, YOU contact them and any other source you can think of but dont allow her in your home for she will never leave and cause a rift in your good marriage.

I just got engaged and my husband to be wants a “casual” wedding, where we would dress in comfortable clothes and go to a local restaurant with a few friends for dinner. This is my first wedding and although we cant afford the bells and whistles I would at least like the wedding gown and a small reception in a community room. Am I asking for too much? Joyce

Dear Joyce, Its not asking too much to at least have the wedding gown. You can go to City Hall with the wedding gown, which will cut down on some expenses. This is a special day that will be remembered for the rest of your lives together, do something special, like go to the Museum, or buy tickets to a movie for your wedding party or go to an amusement park, all with your wedding dress, It will bring back fond memories in the future. Congratulations and have a happy and healthy life.

I have 1 child and would like to have another, but my husband refuses, and said if I get pregnant, I will have to get rid of it. That upsets me and just feel it’s not fair to me nor to my son who need a brother or sister to share life with. Should I ignore his demands or should I just accept that one is enough? Proud Mom Sara

Dear Sara, Have you asked you husband why he is so against another child, perhaps its financial and he feels what he earns is not enough. The reason is important for if finances is the reason perhaps you should wait until finances are better. If there is another reason perhaps you can work it out, but its important that you both want another child, for its not like a pair of shoes that you can return, and can cause a rift between an otherwise happy relationship.

I just love high heel wedge shoes, and keep on buying them although I can only wear them for an hour, then change to flats. My sister thinks I am wasteful and says I should not buy these types of shoes, for they sit in the closet while my flats are worn to death. Am I wrong to buy these shoes and am I in denial that I just cant wear them any longer, for my feet are really bad. Should I give up the beautiful shoes for flats, or should I just wear the beauties an hour. Don’t want to be wasteful. Need your sound advice. Roe

Dear Roe, Unless you are sharing bank accounts with your sister, its ok to indulge that love for wedge shoes. However, there are great looking wedge shoes that are not high heels, and you might be just as happy with that style as well as enjoy more wear hours with them. Im sure you sister is protecting your finances as well as you health with her suggestions that you curb your desires for these high wedge shoes, so dont feel badly. You know what is best for you.

I am the middle of three sisters, and love both my sisters. Recently my youngest sister was diagnosed with Colon Cancer is undergoing a serious surgery, and asked me not to tell my older sister for they are estranged. I really don’t want to take sides, but want to honor my sisters wishes, but really don’t know what to do. I feel my older sister would want to know because this is a life and death situation, and would feel horrible if something happened and my sister was not there, she would blame me for not telling her. What should I do? Torn Marcie

Dear Marcie, I understand your wanting to not be in the middle of a feud, especially since you are in a neutral corner, but your priority at this time is to honor your sick sisters wishes. You have obviously been there for her, and her health and well-being is at stake, so make sure when she wake up from her surgery she finds those people whom make her happy next to her. Perhaps later you can try to fix up her bad relationship with your other sister, but now its your love and consideration that she needs.

I consider myself a fashion mavin, however, I just cant wear those high heel wedge shoes, for they prevent me from walking quickly. Is it OK to wear flats or small wedge shoes with high fashion outfits. My friends are shocked to see this change in my look. Should I wear them for the sake of fashion or should practicality win over style? Fashion Feet Fredah

Dear Fredah. Begin your own fashion trend. Wear smaller wedges, then you can satisfy the fashion look as well as your comfort needs.

I’m engaged to marry my live in boyfriend this coming June and just found out that he’s been dating porn stars for the last year. I confronted him and he begged forgiveness and said its not important, but our marriage is important to him. Should I forgive him or is this discovery the beginning of what can become a challenging future. Uncertain Ursula.

Dear Ursula, You guys behavior might be the beginning of a problem that can become troublesome for you in the future. Remember, most mens interest lever is short, so in a few years when he has seen you in all different forms, he might need a NEW bright penny to look at. Perhaps you should hold off on marriage, until you determine whether this is the right husband-fit for you.

I just lost a lot of weight and really need surgery to correct my hanging skin, only my husband doesn’t think I need it. I have always felt that one should not show ones mate your body imperfections for its a sure way for it to remain in their heads forever. My husband has not noticed this hanging skin, all he notices is that I’m 100 lbs lighter. should I show him the hanging skin for him to see the surgery is needed, or should I find another way to get the surgery I need to feel better about myself. Sexy yet flabby Sonia

Dear Sonia, You are right not to point out your body imperfections to your husband, perhaps you might ask your doctor to make a recommendation to your husband that the surgery would be the final process to your weight loss, then he needn't see the "why's" and deal with the "when" you will have the surgery.

There is a girl at work that seems to get everything she wants because of her sexy attire. I’m as “cute” as she is and have been considering mimicking her “look” to get the same office consideration she gets, which might include a promotion. Should I or shouldn’t I? Conservative looking Brenda

Dear Brenda, first of all you don't know what OTHER considerations this girl might be handing out to get the consideration you are eager for, so my ans to you is NO, stay the respectful conservative lady you are, and perhaps dress yourself up by changing your hair style, or makeup (brighter lipstick) or even add a brighter color to your wardrobe, like red or pink. That will definitely cause others to look.

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DISCLAIMER: Giving advice is easy, but when the reader feels a connection to the adviser then that’s special. Many of us have experienced and resolved many of the problems posted, so why not pass on what we learned.  We have selected questions that we can respond to, those questions unanswered are by no means not important to us, and we hope to respond to them ASAP. Naturally this advice is to entertain you, as well as give you another opinion that you must ultimately decide upon. Have fun!