DEAR ABBY: I am in a very awkward situation. I was married last week and am very happy with my new husband, “Ralph.” However, when people ask, “Where did you two meet?” that’s when the glamour shatters.

Abby, Ralph and I met in a public restroom in a very rundown area that we happened to be vacationing in. I hate telling people that’s where we met because they usually laugh, thinking it’s a joke. Should I just tell them the town where we were vacationing? – NEWLYWED IN THE BATHROOM

There is such a thing as giving people too much information, and that’s what you have been doing. By all means tell those who inquire that you met in such-and-such town. There is no need to tell anyone that the exact location was a public bathroom or what you were doing there when Cupid’s arrow struck.

DEAR ABBY: At my last job, there was a privacy policy in place in which no one could ask nor discuss another worker’s medical condition or reason for taking medical leave. However, “Thelma,” the coordinator at my present job (I’ve been here two years), constantly badgers us and insists that we tell her our reason for medical leave or what our medical condition is.

I have noticed that she repeats to others what is told to her; therefore I do not tell her anything.

Thelma recently sent around a sympathy card for everyone to sign for a woman in another department who had suffered a miscarriage. (I had no idea the woman was even pregnant.) I thought the card was tacky and a form of gossip, and I told the coordinator so. Her response to me was that this woman has had other miscarriages!

How can I put a stop to her insensitivity and gossip? Should I go over Thelma’s head and report her, or confront her one-on-one? I feel like I’m in a no-win situation. Also, this is happening at a large, respectable law firm. She recently asked me why I had gone to the doctor, and I responded by saying, “Didn’t I tell you? Then, I guess it’s none of your business.” She didn’t get the hint (!) and resorted to asking my co-workers if they knew. – INVADED IN NEW BERN, N.C.

According to my labor law guru, Nancy Bertrando: “In most states – if not all – people have the right to privacy with respect to any medical information. Employers have the right to require a physician’s verification of a need for a medical leave, but not an underlying diagnosis. If Thelma asks you again, say, ‘I’m not comfortable answering that question, and it’s not appropriate for you to ask.”‘

Frankly, I find it shocking that in a “large, respectable law firm” they don’t already know and abide by this.

DEAR ABBY: Our oldest son was married several months ago. One of his best friends from college responded affirmatively to the wedding invitation, saying he and his wife would be there. However, when the wedding was held, they did not show up, nor did they send a card or even an explanation as to why they were not there.

We just received an announcement of the impending birth of their first child, with a note about where they are registered for gifts. We are tempted to ignore it. What should be our response? – STEAMED IN WACO, TEXAS

DEAR STEAMED: Although I can relate to your impulse to toss the announcement in the wastebasket, this is your opportunity to display better manners than this couple showed. Send them a nice card of congratulations. Period.

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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