DEAR ABBY: A co-worker, “Marilyn,” recently returned
from time off with a noticeably different face. She said
nothing about it, so we didn’t either for a while. Finally,
one woman remarked to her that she appeared to have had
“some work done.” Abby, Marilyn denied it!
What’s considered proper here? Should we have said
something initially about her radically changed appearance?
We were afraid if we ignored it she’d be disappointed.
Having spent that much money and gone through that much
pain, wouldn’t she have been crushed if we hadn’t? —

When someone has spent big bucks on
plastic surgery, the one question that person does NOT want
to hear is, “Have you had some work done?” If someone has a
good surgeon, the results are subtle, not radical.
A more tactful way to have approached your co-worker
would have been to say, “Marilyn, you look wonderful — so
RESTED. That trip took years off you … ” Then, if Marilyn
wanted to share her secret, she could have — or just said
thank you.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have always been active.
We’re avid campers and certified scuba divers; we water-ski
and enjoy taking leisurely rides along country roads on our
I recently had an accident and had to have an X-ray of
my spine. Afterward, my doctor informed me that the
vertebrae in my neck are positioned in such a way that if
I’m ever in another accident, I would probably become a
My husband now wants to sell our motorcycle and do
everything possible to “protect” me. How do I tell this
wonderful man that I don’t want to change our lifestyle? We
do not do anything dangerous, but he insists that we now
have to watch out for “the fools out there.” — ADVENTURER

DEAR ADVENTURER: Frankly, I agree with your husband.
There is no denying that motorcycles can be dangerous even
when the riders are taking every precaution. However,
because you feel so strongly about this, perhaps you should
consider getting a second medical opinion. If the second
doctor agrees with the first, then you and your husband must
decide whether a leisurely ride in the country is worth the
risk of a lifetime in a wheelchair, because that outcome
would affect him, too.

DEAR ABBY: I live in a small town in Alaska. A
relationship with a woman I loved more than I have ever
loved anyone has ended. I’m left with only pain, misery and
I keep trying to move on, but everything I do makes me
think of her. I have asked friends for advice; they all tell
me to “man up and get over it!”
It’s frustrating to be told to “get over her” and
accept what is. I know brooding isn’t helpful, but it’s a
natural byproduct of pain. What I need to ask you is this:
Is it worth putting your heart and soul on the line with the
likely possibility of having them crushed? I hope so,
because without hope, then what is there to live for? That
thought scares me more than anything I have ever

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Of course it’s worth it, because
without risk there is no reward. I am speaking with the
voice of experience. You have plenty to live for. Falling in
love is like prospecting for gold. Sometimes you strike the
mother lode on the first try, but most times you have to
keep digging. I don’t know how small the community you live
in is, but if it’s so small that most of the eligible
candidates for romance have been eliminated, then you should
consider relocating.

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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