Mary Killen Mary Killen

Your Problems Solved | 7 September 2002

Dear Mary…

Q. For years I have suffered embarrassment at the hands of my father’s gluttony – specifically his habit of ordering an entire pint of ice cream when we go out, enough to satisfy an entire family, and devouring it at the gelato shop in front of judgmental eyes obviously disgusted by the display. Since his gall bladder was removed a while back, this is not only greedy but also dangerous, as he is incapable of processing large quantities of fat. Do you have any suggestions to curtail these frozen-dessert binges?
C.E., Vancouver, Canada

A. It would seem that there is nothing you can do to curb these excesses, so why not turn the situation to your advantage and encourage onlookers to enjoy the display rather than despise it? ‘Isn’t it marvellous to see someone cocking a snook at the health police like this?’ you can ask them. ‘You have to admire the cavalier attitude when he’s been told it’s dangerous for someone without a gall bladder! What a man!’ In this way you may procure a surfeit of the attention he is clearly seeking – indeed, enough to act as something of a ‘sickener’ that will act as a natural appetite suppressant.

Q. I am 33 years old. My problem is that, although I sleep very well, for the first part of each day my face looks terribly old and haggard as though I have slept badly. I find myself at a loss as to what to say when I run into friends and acquaintances in the early morning who, apparently shocked by my appearance, ask, ‘Gosh, are you all right?’ What is the dignified answer to such an inquiry?
E.H., London SW10

A. Many women do not realise that the sort of facial quilting you describe comes from incorrect sleeping habits.

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