Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend Shocked By Exec’s Plastic Surgery

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been friends with a female corporate executive for some years now. She is lovely and smart, and our relationship is always warm. I saw her after not seeing her for about six months, and it was obvious to me that she had had plastic surgery. I’m sorry, but she looked crazy to me. Yes, she is getting older and a bit overweight, but what she did to her face makes her look totally fake.

I feel like I should say something to her. I guess she is trying to keep up with the young people in her world, but it is not working. I think it would be so much better if she just accepted herself as she is. Should I say something to her? -- Too Much Plastic Surgery

DEAR TOO MUCH PLASTIC SURGERY: This is a time when I recommend that you keep your comments to yourself. Your friend has made choices that you may not have made, but they are made. For you to tell her you think she made a bad decision about something that is largely irreversible is not helpful. Clearly, your friend was feeling the urge to modernize herself or at least to make herself seem younger. Occasionally, plastic surgery does that effectively. Often, the job is too glaringly different from where you started.

That is not your problem. Your challenge is to be a friend to her by accepting her as she is. If she ever brings up her plastic surgery, you can tell her, gently, that you choose not to refresh in that way. If she asks more, you can give her your thoughts in general about the pros and cons of plastic surgery, but steer clear of what she has done until and unless she asks you directly.