DEAR ABBY: At the age of 40, I had emergency cardiac surgery followed by an infection, more surgery and six months of difficult recovery. With the help of medical professionals and my husband's tireless care, I finally healed. It's been nearly five years, but I'm back to my "normal" self and can do just about anything I could before. I'm grateful for my life and feel blessed to have recovered from an illness that many have not survived.
My problem: I am very well-endowed. I used to enjoy dressing to highlight my "assets" in a ladylike way. But my once-attractive cleavage is now obscured by deep, severe scarring. On the one hand, my scar is my badge of survival. I don't try to hide it when dressing for work or for leisure. On the other hand, I don't try to flaunt it either.
A season of summer gatherings, parties and celebrations is here, and I'd like to dress for them. Should I stick to high-collared tops (which make me feel frumpy) or wear dresses and blouses that reveal the scars? My close friends are used to them, but I don't want to shock strangers at the hors d'oeuvres table.
This may seem like vanity when so many struggle for health, but it has been difficult overcoming depression after my illness and a long time since I've felt good about dressing up a little. I'd like your opinion. -- WANTS TO FEEL PRETTY AGAIN
DEAR WANTS TO FEEL PRETTY: We are the sum total of our life experiences. Among yours has been major surgery. If you wouldn't mind answering questions about your scars, then wear the low-cut tops you're inclined to. I have seen other women do it. However, if answering questions would make you uncomfortable, consider wearing outfits that highlight your assets in a different way -- or even highlighting different assets.