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by Abigail Van Buren

Dessert Adds a Sour Ending to Dinners With Girlfriends

DEAR ABBY: When I go out to eat with my girlfriends, I usually enjoy myself until it comes time for dessert. Then I get grief if I don't order any and they do. They'll say, "Oh, you're so tiny. You can eat it." Conversely, if I do order something, they tell me, "Well, I'd love some but my metabolism isn't as high as yours."

I have never made comments to them about calorie counting, needing to work out or concern about my weight. I feel fitness is a private matter, and I'm not comfortable with mine being the topic of discussion. Is there any way to respectfully and tactfully respond to their comments or redirect the conversation? -- TAKES THE CAKE IN FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ.

DEAR TAKES THE CAKE: The way you said it in your letter is perfect: "I feel fitness is a private matter and I'm not comfortable with mine being the topic of discussion." Either state it when they comment on what you have ordered, or say it privately to each of your friends when you're away from a restaurant. If they are friends, they'll respect your feelings.