Dear Annie: I am quite a bit overweight. My 29-year-old daughter is concerned that I might have a heart attack and die on her. Meanwhile, she has been smoking cigarettes since she was 16 years old. She said to me, “If you have gastric bypass surgery, I will quit smoking.” My sister says I should absolutely do it because I might be saving my daughter’s life. That is an awful burden to place on me. Of course, I would love to lose weight, but something as drastic as gastric bypass surgery is frightening to me. Am I being selfish by not wanting to have the surgery? — Need Your Help
Dear Need: Not at all. We know your daughter’s heart is in the right place and that she is worried about you. But surgeries, including gastric bypass, come with serious risks. Such surgery is a last resort for those who are morbidly obese and have been unable to lose weight any other way. Have you tried programs like Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous?
Have you seen a nutritionist about eating in a more healthful way? Have you attempted an exercise program or checked at your local gym for a personal trainer? These are all steps you should take to get your weight into a healthy range.
So here’s a better bargain: Tell your daughter that you will get into a diet and exercise program while she works on giving up cigarettes.
Someday, she may have a 29-year-old daughter who worries that her mother will die from smoking. We wish you both the best.
Dear Annie: This is a plea to women everywhere. When I use a public restroom and there is urine splashed all over the toilet seat, I want to scream. If there is another stall, I will use it instead, but otherwise, I am stuck cleaning off this mess with a wad of toilet paper before I can use the seat. Then I have to find my hand sanitizer. So here’s the simple request: Ladies, if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie, wipe the seatie! — Grimacing in Sarasota Fla.
Dear Grimacing: We are on your side. But in all fairness, women often don’t want to sit on a public toilet, and if there are no paper seat covers, they may feel it is necessary to hover over the seat. Also, sometimes the flush itself creates splashing, which is not the woman’s fault.
So, ladies, please check the seat before you leave the stall and be considerate of the next woman.
Dear Annie: I am so glad “Not a Prude” addressed the issue of “undressed” women in the TV news. It is vulgar and sad. I can get past the sleeveless dresses, but I’m sick of the cross-legged, too-short skirt pose and the deep cleavage.
What happened to sitting behind a news desk? Why do we have to see anyone’s legs? I am not a prude, but I refuse to watch any news station where the women dress this way. Our society glorifies sex. I remember one female announcer saying that the reason women wear dresses is because “the man wears the pants.”
I wonder whether she wears dresses at home with her husband. It is degrading and sexist for any TV producer to insist that the female employees wear inappropriate clothing just to get more viewers. And it is sad for any woman to give in to that pressure in order to keep her job. Wearing short dresses and showing cleavage is unprofessional and sends the wrong message to other women and young girls who want to succeed in the professional world. — Another Woman Speaking Out
Dear Another: If enough people stop watching the stations that promote men as professionals and women as sex symbols, maybe things will change.
Annie’s Snippet for Earth Day (credit John Muir): When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.
Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.