Pet Peeves (07/25/07)

Dear Zelda,

My best friend had her "sweaters" augmented last fall (and I mean REALLY augmented) and I, of course, am of average size. We hang out all the time, but things are different. We can't go anywhere without her slapping on the smallest shirt she can find that barely covers her belly. I think she looked great before, but now she's starting to look more like a hooker and less like my best friend. Her new assets are overtaking our friendship, and I'm afraid soon THE WORLD!

Stuck in the Shade

Dear Stuck in the Shade,

If you can manage it, try not to make mountains out of... well... mountains. One thing we have to remember is that most people willing to actually undergo surgery to enhance their appearance generally do so because it's something that really bothers them. At the very least, it's something they feel strongly enough about to suffer through the pain of surgery, and what's more, put up with those unflattering hospital gowns! Her choice may seem superficial to you, but often appearances ARE important to people, and inside it may be something she has labored over for years and years. I'm all about being happy with who you are, but that also means being happy with your friends, who they are, and what they need in their own lives (and in their own sweaters), even if you don't agree with all their decisions.

That said, friendships are built on honesty as well as compassion. If your friend's attachment to her new attachments is getting in the way of your relationship, or you think her obsession with putting them on display is interfering with your time together, by all means SPEAK UP! The next time the four of you are together, tell her honestly how you feel, and let her know that even though you support her decision to have the surgery, it makes you uncomfortable when she dresses so provocatively when the two of you go out together. She may listen, and might even try to tone it down a bit (like switching from Baby Gap to Gap Kids), but don't be surprised if your requests fall on deaf ears. To her, you may seem like a downer (and possibly even jealous), particularly when her two new friends are such "uppers."

But best friends stick together through the good, the bad, and the jiggly. Dealing with life's "obstacles" together is what real friendship is all about, and this isn't worth losing your best friend over. Be honest but kind when you talk with her, and you'll find your old friend eventually, somewhere beneath the silicone.

Zelda

Dear Zelda,

My pet peeve has to do with my neighbors. Every morning they take their dog for a walk. Every morning they let it go to the bathroom in my yard. Every morning I want to yell out the front door for them to pick it up. And every morning they never do. They are friendly, but not friends and frankly they are becoming more like the enemy. I don't want to post tacky signs and I'm not good at confrontation. Twice I've been outside and they still let it happen. I'm about at my wits' end. Help!

Mornings Stink

Dear Mornings Stink,

Unfortunately we dogs can only be account-a-bull for what we are taught. Sure we have the upper hand when it comes to using the restroom (anywhere will do), but it's our owners' responsibility to make sure that the "anywhere" is appropriate.

This should all be really obvious, and I'm always surprised to hear of people who don't clean up after their pets. The little plastic bag is just as important as a collar or a leash these days, and anyone who doesn't carry one is not following the proper protocol as a good neighbor and citizen, nor as a responsible pet owner representing all pets and their owners. Pick up your pooch pellets people!

The next time it happens (bear with me), pick it up (a stick or two will probably be necessary here), plop it in a little white bag, and seal it tight. Tie a pretty little ribbon around it with a note that simply states "You dropped this in my yard, thought you might want it back. Sincerely, your friendly neighbor." You don't have to say who it's from or be nasty about it, but this will get the point across. Make sure to leave it at a time when you feel certain that no one is around (to avoid the confrontation), and then...let "nature" take its course. If they do ask you about it, you should be honest and explain that they need to be responsible for cleaning up after their dog in the future.

Trust me, you'll only have to do this once. It sounds like your neighbors may just be blind to this simple rule of etiquette (since they have done it right in front of you), but a little unpleasant surprise will be sure to open their eyes.

Zelda

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