Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Not Sure About Bringing Up Friend's Teeth

DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend "Lauren" is very outgoing and kind. I have noticed her teeth becoming more damaged and yellowed in the past few months. We regularly speak about our various health ailments, and she has not mentioned her teeth. I don’t care about the cosmetic appearance of her teeth; it's just that I would feel incredibly guilty if there was an infection of some sort lurking there. Growing up, I was always told to never comment on weight or teeth, but is this an exception? I want to make sure Lauren is healthy. -- Pearly Whites, Cincinnati

DEAR PEARLY WHITES: You may be able to begin the conversation by talking about your own teeth. Tell her that you plan on going to the dentist soon. Ask her who her dentist is. Continue by asking her if she has been to see her dentist recently. Then, go for it carefully. Tell her that you have noticed that her teeth seem to be changing, and you are concerned about her. You can tell her that you have learned that the health of your teeth is often directly connected to the health of your body, which is why you are going to get a checkup -- and why she should do the same. If she does not have dental insurance, suggest that she check with the local dental school. Often, schools offer free or low-cost dental care provided by students.

DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine sent out her wedding invitations, and I was not invited. I am surprised because she has consulted me about details regarding the ceremony and reception over several months. I mean, we have talked for hours about her wedding -- so much so that I sometimes canceled other activities with friends so that I could be there for her. Is it possible that I was forgotten on the invite list? I want to go to her wedding, yet don’t know if I was purposely left out. -- You (Don’t) Have Mail, Atlanta

DEAR YOU (DON’T) HAVE MAIL: This is a time when I would ask. Given that she consulted you repeatedly about her wedding, it is odd that you would not have received an invitation. Call your friend and ask her directly if she invited you to her wedding. Tell her that you did not receive an invitation. Tell her that you wonder if she somehow had the wrong address.

If it turns out that she didn’t invite you, you have every right to say that your feelings are hurt. You assumed that you were on her guest list, given that she consulted with you repeatedly about details of the wedding. In the end, you do not have control over whether you get an invitation, but in this instance, you do have the right to tell your friend how you feel.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)