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Heavier Things

By Mink Stole | Posted 8/3/2005

A good friend of mine recently lost nearly 50 pounds. Iím really happy for her, but sheís becoming a total bore on the subject. No matter whom weíre with or what weíre doing, she manages to bring the subject around to her big weight loss. She goes on and on about how awful she looked, how unhappy she was, and how she finally made the decision and took charge of her life, etc., etc., etc. I could probably deal with this and just wait until she tired of the subject, but sheís also taken to nagging me about my weight, which is very annoying. Whenever we have lunch together, if I order anything but a salad, she gets this pinched, disapproving look on her face, and if I even think of having dessert, she reminds me, ďA moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.Ē Although Iím not fat, I do carry some extra pounds, but I like the way I look and so does my husband. I think some people are supposed to be rounder than others. And, if you want to know the truth, I liked the way my friend looked before her transformation maybe even better than how she looks now, though I would never tell her that. I really care about this friend, but if I canít get her to stop managing my meals, Iíll have to stop seeing her.

Pleasantly Plump

Your friend has every right to be proud of herself, PP. Losing 50 pounds took hard work, and friendship dictates that you give her some brag time; sheís earned it. Unfortunately, making a such a life change can turn some people into born-agains, missionaries obsessed with sharing their newly discovered secret of happiness with the world, whether the world wants to hear it or not. So, while she gets a few weeks (give or take a month) of monopolizing the conversation, when you start to feel like the next time she opens her mouth youíre going to stuff a Krispy Kreme in it, itís time for you to speak up.

Tell her again how wonderful she looks and how glad you are that sheís happy, but that youíre happy with the way you are, and you wish she could be, too. If thatís too subtle, tell her you appreciate her concern for your welfare, but that if and when you decide to change your eating habits, youíd prefer to do it on your own, thank you. If none of that works, tell her that you love her, you donít want to hurt her, but that getting rid of her big butt does not give her the right to become an oversized pain in yours.


Iíve been going to the same stylist for several years. Heís good, but heís moved to a new, much nicer salon and raised his prices. He says itís because he now has a bigger overhead, but itís more than I can afford. Itís hard to find a hairdresser who does a consistently good job, so Iíve been putting it off, but the real problem is telling my current stylist that Iím leaving. When I told him that his rate increases were going to make it hard for me to see him as often, he gave me a smiling-but-stern mini-lecture about how looks are important, how the money I spend on my appearance is more an investment than a fee, and how good it is to pamper myself now and then. I agree on principle, but I wish he werenít making it so hard for me. Itís embarrassing to admit that I canít pay his new prices. Plus, although weíre not close friends, we do have a lot of mutual acquaintances. I know Iím going to run into him socially, so I donít want to end things badly. What do you suggest?

Hairdresser Blues

A stylist is sort of like a therapist, HB. To do a good job, each must be privy to secrets, see you at your worst, and, by the end of the session, make you feel that your time and money were well spent. And, if either isnít ready to end the relationship, they know buttons to push to try to make you stay. Just remember: Itís your money, and you can spend it where you want. Your stylist has a point about pampering, but if the cost stresses you out, the benefit is nil. And when the investment youíre making is actually funding the investment heís making, you have the right to opt out. Youíd be better off finding a less expensive hairdresser and treating yourself to an extra-long soak in a nice hot bath.

There are talented people everywhere, so start looking. Ask your friends, call various salons to get prices and see if they have someone who specializes in your hair type. You may be able to tell from just a few moments on the phone whether itís someone you want to try. As for the guy youíre seeing now, adding a little white lie to the truth can ease the embarrassment. Tell him heís the greatest, youíll miss him, and youíll recommend him to your friends, but that since 1) youíre saving for a new house, 2) youíre remodeling the house youíve already got, or 3) youíve fallen desperately in love with an 18-year-old who needs a new Harley, his new prices just donít fit your new financial priorities.

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