Dear Annie: I've been working at the same company for the last 10 years. It's a small office that trains temps, so we have new people all the time. I train them on office work. Though I'm friendly with each new employee, it's rare for me to get to know people on a deep level when they only stay for a few months or so. So, we normally talk about TV or what we're eating for lunch or light gossip around the office. We recently hired a new girl for the temp program, and I've never seen her eat more than a few veggie sticks for lunch. I jokingly asked about it the first day. She said she'd forgotten to buy groceries. But this has been going on for a few weeks now, and she's already thin as a rail. I don't feel very comfortable approaching her about her eating habits, but I also don't feel comfortable watching someone waste away either. I don't know much about eating disorders, so I was hoping you could help me on how to approach this — or not. — Concerned Co-worker
Dear Concerned Co-worker: Matters of health are incredibly sensitive and, in the context of the workplace, best handled by the human resources department. Express your concerns to HR and not to any other colleagues. Also, see the National Eating Disorders Association's Workplace Toolkit at https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/help/workplace, and call the NEDA's hotline at (800) 931-2237 if you'd like further guidance.
Dear Annie: We are a group of senior citizens who get together once in a while. We invited a few couples over to our house for dinner. One of the couples just asked if they could bring their neighbors. We have NEVER asked if we can bring our neighbors to one of their events. We feel the request is inappropriate. How do we politely decline? — Puzzled
Dear Puzzled: To have brought their neighbors without asking would have been inappropriate, but I don't think it's rude for them to have simply asked. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt: Perhaps their neighbors are lonely and have been trying to make more friends. That doesn't mean you have to agree to let them come over; I'm just sharing that to try to offer some understanding. In any case, all you have to say is, "We'd like to keep it to just us, but we appreciate your asking."
Dear Annie: You answer a lot of questions about infidelity, jealousy and therapy. This is a different way to look at it: Sex is 80 percent fantasy and 20 percent physical. The physical part is the same whoever your partner is. It's the fantasy part that creates the excitement. That's how they sell magazines and love stories. No one buys Playboy for the news articles.
Remember the excitement and fantasy of your honeymoon? It might have gotten a little routine and unexciting over the years. The key is to recreate the fantasies for your partner. Then you can make love to anyone in the world and never leave home. Just have fun. It's cheaper than therapy, and it stops the arguing and complaining about each other. — Happy
Dear Happy: Thank you for your amusing and insightful letter. I love the idea of looking at what you can create with your partner and having happiness and excitement as goals.
"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 [email protected]