DEAR ABBY: I am writing on behalf of my friends at work. We have a co-worker, “Madge,” who had a stillborn baby last year. It was tragic. Our problem is, she keeps a photo of the deceased infant with its little eyes sewn shut on her desk in plain view, so that if we must interact with her (we have an open cubicle layout) we have to see it.

Is this appropriate? Ninety percent of the employees here are women. Most are appalled. Others say, “Well, it’s all she has.”

Madge is expecting again, and we are rooting for her and the baby. However, in addition to all this, she is mean and gossipy. Madge tells everyone what to do and how to do it – which is not in her job description. I hope that when the baby arrives she will soften and not be so bitter. But, Abby, how on earth do we blow off that photo? – APPALLED IN THE MIDWEST

While a person’s desktop is usually private territory, I agree that the photograph you describe is inappropriate in an office environment. Because Madge feels the need to keep the picture of her stillborn baby close, it should be kept in her purse with other family photos, or in her desk drawer.

How very sad that poor woman must be. The person who should deal with this delicate problem is the boss or the supervisor.

DEAR ABBY: How do I overcome my insecurity issues? I have been insecure all my life. I have always felt fat, ugly, unacceptable and worthless (among other things).

A couple of years ago, I appeared on a popular reality makeover television show. I thought it would solve everything, but inside I am still all messed up. How do I get past all my past hurts and move on to a healthy, less stressful life? – STILL HURTING IN CALIFORNIA

When people feel fat, ugly, unacceptable and worthless (among other things), it often goes back to the way they were brought up ­- and lack of support from their parents. You can heal what is hurting you, but you must recognize that, unlike plastic surgery, there are no “quick fixes” for what ails you. You will find the answers you are seeking by consulting a licensed, experienced psychotherapist. I hope you will ask your physician for a referral as soon as you finish this letter. You have a right to be happy, so please don’t put it off.

DEAR ABBY: I feel like I have struck gold. Please tell your female readers, if they are over 40 and looking for a man, to head to their local diner for breakfast.

Last week I found myself to be one of only two women (and she was with her husband) out of 15 people eating breakfast. Apparently, men meet weekly for breakfast.

I’m sure if women made a habit of going to the restaurant, the waitresses would get to know them and would be thrilled to introduce them to some of the single men who come in. Women love to play Cupid. Also, be sure to sit at the counter. It’s easier to approach someone sitting at the counter than someone sitting in a booth. – EATING SINGLE BUT NOT ALONE IN OHIO

I am frequently asked by members of both sexes where to meet someone eligible. You have offered a good suggestion, and although romance is not usually on the menu in such establishments, with Valentine’s Day approaching, I am pleased to pass this along.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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