DEAR ABBY: I’m a 30-year-old woman who has battled compulsive eating and binge eating since my teens. (Yes, I still have a weight problem.) I see a counselor and am trying to find solutions that work for me.

My problem stems from well-meaning friends and family who try to send me home with leftovers when I visit them. Because I am single, they think I would like a home-cooked meal. I politely refuse these offerings, but my hosts keep insisting I take food until I give in just to avoid additional argument.

How can I convince them I can’t take the offer without offending them or revealing my “problem”? – STUFFED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR STUFFED: It’s difficult for me to believe that family and close friends are completely unaware of a problem with which you have struggled since your teens. However, if that’s the case, thank these loving saboteurs and tell them you have more than enough food at home and don’t want to waste anything by having more than you can use. If that doesn’t deter them, offer the food to a neighbor or someone who might need or enjoy it. But under no circumstances should you bring it into your house if it will trigger a binge.

DEAR ABBY: I am in my early 50s and have great difficulty driving at night. My daughter says my problem is a “lack of confidence.” I say my problem is being unable to SEE.

One night I had to pick up my son outside city limits, and I was scared. I couldn’t read the street signs and had difficulty telling how far out of town I was and how close to him I was getting. I didn’t have my cell phone with me and couldn’t call him.


To me, this vision problem at night could be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Would you please give me your opinion – is this all in my head? – GAIL IN TEXAS

DEAR GAIL: Yes and no. Because your eyes are located in your head – on that score you are correct. However, your problem is your vision, not an overactive imagination.

The person to tell you exactly what is causing the problem with your night vision is an ophthalmologist – a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases of the eye. He or she can also tell you whether it is correctable or if you should refrain from driving after dark because driving blind is, indeed, as dangerous as driving drunk, and I don’t recommend it.

DEAR ABBY: I have a close friend, “Janelle,” who is 15. I’d like to spend time with her, but her parents are very strict. They don’t allow Janelle to go anywhere without one of them. They let her hang out only with a few girls from their church.

I am neither a member of her church nor a girl, but I am also 15 and I’d like to be able to make plans with her. Is there a way I can convince her parents to let us see each other? – WISHING IN PEORIA, ARIZ.

DEAR WISHING: When parents are as hyper-protective as Janelle’s seem to be, there probably isn’t. However, if you begin making friends with Janelle’s friends, it’s possible you can spend some time with ALL of them. It’s just a thought.

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.

Good advice for everyone – teens to seniors – is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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