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by Abigail Van Buren

Older Sister's Face-Lift Leaves Younger Sister Feeling Down

DEAR ABBY: I run around with my sister "Pam" a lot. She is eight years older. She had a face-lift some years ago, and she continues to seek out cosmetic procedures to enhance her appearance. I have had Botox and fillers, but do not want a face-lift. I am trying to age gracefully, just at a slightly slower pace.

I love my sister and I think she looks beautiful. However, when Pam and I are together and tell people we're sisters, they always think I'm the older one. My feelings are hurt.

When our father died, I gained 30 pounds. Food was how I dealt with my grief. I have been working hard to get in better shape and lose weight. I am halfway to my goal, and proud of myself, but when these encounters happen, I get thrown. How do I answer people who ask about the age difference and make those comments? -- YOUNGER ONE IN FLORIDA

DEAR YOUNGER ONE: Not everyone ages at the same rate, and I don't think the people who make those comments do it intending to be hurtful. With all the help she's getting, it's no wonder your sister appears younger.

If someone remarks about you appearing older, all you have to say is, "Nope! She's my BIG sister." And should someone comment on your appearance, be honest. Say you gained some weight, but you're working on taking it off and getting back into shape. It's no disgrace; it's admirable.

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