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Sun, March 24

Dear Annie: The dreaded ‘Does this make me look fat?’

Dear Annie: A friend and I enjoy shopping for clothes together. We always have fun.

Over the past few years, she has put on weight. Objectively, she has become obese. That doesn’t matter to me. But here is the problem now. Every time she tries on new clothes, she asks me, “Does this make me look fat?”

The clothes don’t make her look any fatter than she is. So I just say “no” and leave it at that. But the question makes me uncomfortable because I worry that I am not being totally honest. What should I say? — Feeling Awkward

Dear Feeling Awkward: Take this as your friend’s asking whether the clothes flatter her or not, and be honest so you can help her pick outfits that look good on her. If she persistently asks whether she looks fat, you could ask her whether that’s a concern for her and then let her lead the conversation from there.

Dear Annie: A while ago, you had a poll asking people whether they’d decide to have kids if they could go back in time. The following response is specifically directed toward women.

I have spent my whole life believing in love and faith, only to have it challenged at every level. If you are ready to sacrifice yourself for the betterment of others, then by all means have children. If you don’t think you want to do that, don’t have kids. Your choice, but get the facts before you take the plunge.

No one tells you how hard it’s going to be, and there is no pamphlet out there that can prepare you for the rough road ahead if you decide to have kids. Go in with eyes wide-open. And if you think you can handle it, just wait and see what life throws at you. You’d better have lots of money, patience and fortitude and a self-sacrificing nature, or you will have regrets aplenty. I won’t saddle you with the thousands of things that can go wrong, but believe me, there will always be something to challenge you. I am not sure good moments outweigh the rest. Motherhood is the most underappreciated job on earth.

Good luck in whatever you decide. You can’t give them back, so make sure you want them. — Tired

Dear Tired: I won’t argue with you that moms work incredibly hard, often without thanks. But not having children is not a guarantee for a smooth road. There will be bumps in our paths, no matter which path we take. It’s how we react to them that counts.

Dear Annie: Three of my uncles passed away in 1997 in widely separated locations across the country, none of them near the town where they grew up. I submitted a triple obituary after the last death to newspapers close to where they grew up. Three area newspapers printed the story. It seems to me that someone annually submitted a historical death notice for King Harold II, who died at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Based on this, it is safe to say that there is no time limit on obituaries or death notices. — History Buff

Dear History Buff: I always appreciate a little history lesson. Thanks for writing.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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