Dear Claire,

My best friend had a baby a year ago and has not yet lost the weight. She is in my wedding this Fall, and I’m concerned she will not be able to fit into her bridesmaid dress. How do I suggest she start watching her weight without hurting her feelings?


Friend of a Fattie

My sweet Friend,

First off, a thousand back slaps and handshakes to you for being so aesthetically stringent – there is nothing more important than your wedding, including the health and safety of your friends and family. I myself brought in strains of influenza and tuberculosis from the early 1920’s to complement my Great Gatsby-themed wedding. The authenticity was celebrated by all! If your friend has given birth, I will assume she has had her own wedding (if not, then she’s a lustful rabble-rouser, and you shouldn’t be friends with her anyway), so she knows how important a wedding is to a girl. One possibility is that she could secretly hate you, burning with the desire to ruin your streamlined wedding with doughy, cellulite-sprinkled flesh, but the more likely explanation is that she doesn’t know she’s fat. Well, now that’s an easy problem to fix, but tactfully, tactfully. Don’t go right up to her and tell her she’s literally the size of your college apartment outright – there is no chance she won’t appreciate your honesty, but she’ll probably get mad at all of her other so-called friends for not being as good a bestie as you are. No, you employ some stealth to establish your point – make her think SHE realized her problem. For instance, invite her over for a fancy dinner with all of your mutual friends in attendance. Serve a lavish, five course spread to everyone but her. Every time a new dish is served, place a single vegetable on her plate (one carrot, one broccoli floret, etc) and give her a wide and innocent, yet knowing smile. Maybe throw in a wink if you’re feeling playful, I don’t care. This will get her thinking, “Hmm, I wonder why my very best bud is serving me a single carrot when the rest of the guests are tucking into braised short ribs with smoked gouda mashed potatoes? Clearly, this is a subconscious act on her part, but what does it mean…. AHA! I’m obese now! I must rectify this immediately!” She will race home from the dinner, jump on the treadmill, and voila – a svelte bridesmaid in time for your big day.

Go get her, kiddo! And you’re welcome for saving your wedding.

Cordially, Claire