DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend is a devout Christian, and with Easter coming up, she is so excited about going to church and dressing up for it. She told me that every year since she was a little girl, her family has gone all-out for Easter, buying dressy outfits, taking pictures and going to church. I am happy and intrigued to see all of the excitement around this and to see how happy the children in the family are, but I do not share the enthusiasm. I have never been devout. I am a man of faith and all, but I don’t have rituals about going to church. Should I tell my girlfriend about my experience? I will go with her to church and be with her, but I don’t like all the fanfare. -- Low-Key Christian
DEAR LOW-KEY CHRISTIAN: You should tell your girlfriend how you grew up and what you value, but don’t try to stifle her excitement. In many Christian households, Easter is the biggest celebration, as it marks the time when Christ rose from the dead. It is a holy time. Some families study the Bible and the implicit meaning in the Resurrection for their whole lives. Some revel in the idea of renewal and go all-out with fancy outfits, Easter egg hunts and other outward displays of joy. Give your girlfriend a pass. If she and her family enjoy the fanfare, so be it. You can let her know that it isn’t really your thing, so you will support her, but ask her not to expect you to get caught up in the parade of fashion.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a girlfriend who shared with me that she suffers from diabetes. She made me promise not to tell anyone because she is embarrassed. I agreed. It’s nobody’s business what she is going through. But we have been hanging out, and I see her consume massive amounts of sugar. She seems to crave sweets. It is disturbing to see her chowing down on sweets when I know it could hurt her. My dad died from complications of diabetes, and it was ugly. I want to warn her, but I don’t think she will listen. What should I do? -- Ticking Time Bomb
DEAR TICKING TIME BOMB: A nutritionist shared that it takes about 12 years for the human body to develop diabetes. It is not something that comes on fast like the flu or some other diseases. It was slow to develop in your friend, and won’t be easy for her to control. And yet, of course she should stop eating so many sweets. Sadly, you cannot manage what she eats.
Tell your friend stories about your father. Did he have amputations? Did he lose his sight? These are common complications of diabetes. Plead with your friend to be more mindful of what she consumes. Remind her that you love her and want her to be healthy, but in order for her to do, so she has to cut back dramatically on sweets. If you can’t watch her when she’s binge eating, tell her you have to go when she starts eating like that. You do not have to witness her demise. You can walk away.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)