DEAR ABBY: I am an operating room nurse. My soon-to-be mother-in-law recently had a procedure done that required anesthesia. When the anesthesiologist arrived to interview her before her procedure, she proceeded to ask him if he knew me. He replied that he did.
Her next question was whether he knew that I had recently had cosmetic surgery. Thankfully, he acted in a professional manner by simply saying, "Oh?" She continued the interrogation by asking him if he was aware that I had been previously engaged, and whether he thought I was a runaway bride or not.
I was flabbergasted that she had the gall to bring up such personal things with someone with whom I have a professional relationship. This is a small community where things spread like wildfire. I want to have a relationship with her, but I feel as though she kicked me in the stomach and stabbed me in the back. Is there anything I can say to make her aware of my feelings, or must I be respectful and keep my thoughts to myself? I am deeply hurt. -- APPALLED IN IOWA
DEAR APPALLED: Your fiance's mother may have been nervous at the prospect of her surgery, started babbling and couldn't stop. However, unless you want a strained relationship with your in-laws, do not "confront" her. She can't unring the bell. Now that you know she lacks judgment and leaks like a rusty bucket, in the future confide nothing to her unless you want the whole town to know.