Tag Archives: Ask Dr. Dish

Ask Dr. Dish: ‘Am I fat?’

This isn’t technically a real “Ask Dr. Dish” question, but it’s one I’ve heard over the years.

The question is: “What do you tell someone who asks, ‘Am I getting fat?'”

It’s not an easy question to tackle, let’s be honest. But it’s not an uncommon one to hear, especially for guys who probably get it a lot more often than they’d like.

I once asked my then-boyfriend (now-husband) if he would tell me the straight truth if I had gained weight. He said he would; I didn’t believe him. So we came up with a compromise: if either of us put on a few extra pounds, we’d say, “Well, it looks like everyone’s going on a diet. Including the dogs.”

So far, we haven’t had to say that. Yet.

So I’m summoning up the ladies who read this blog — and the men who have found tactful ways of answering this touchy question — to share your thoughts on this.

What’s the best way to deal with this question? Evade it? Use “fluffy” terms? Or tell the straight-up truth?

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ASK DR. DISH is back!

When I first launched my blog, oh, about eight years ago, I included a weekly post titled, “Ask Dr. Dish.” I would get questions about everything, from which restaurant has the best steak to how much should someone spend on a wedding gift.

Since I’ve been still getting questions every now and then, I decided to resurrect Dr. Dish — not weekly but occasionally — just to give these curious readers some answers.

And, to be honest, it’s not my response that matters. It’s yours. Most times I have NO IDEA what the right answer is — but you do. So that’s why I’m bringing it back. It’s time to help each other out!

So here’s one of my latest questions, one that I addressed back in 2009. But it’s time to revisit this topic.

QUESTION: My boyfriend is a bad tipper. It is so embarrassing! He does not think it is necessary to “reward” good service. I used to wait tables, so I am always tipping people AT LEAST 20%. Who’s right on this one?

ANSWER: I’m like you — I always leave the standard 20 percent. And I tip everyone — valet, maids, hair stylists, massage therapists. I even leave my spare change in those tip jars at Subway and Starbucks. But our tipping culture can be very confusing — and stressful.

It was SO liberating, while I was vacationing in Japan, to not feel pressured to leave tips. You paid what it said on the bill and that’s it. There was something so relieving in that.

That said, we’re in the United States, where tipping is part of our culture. So back to your dilemma.

I’ve gone to dinner with people who didn’t tip well — or sometimes at all — and yes, it was embarrassing to say the least. I feel like, in some ways, it’s a reflection of their character.

So what do you do? If you don’t want to discuss it with him — I would just tell him straight-up — then I’d offer to leave the tip and save yourself — and him — the embarrassment.

What do the rest of you think?

If you have a question for Dr. Dish, e-mail askdrdish@gmail.com.

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ASK DR. DISH: Royal advice

ASK DR. DISH: Royal advice

Question: I am totally obsessed with the Royal Wedding!!! I am so glad you asked yesterday (in Monday’s blog)!!! I have a question for everyone else who is just as obsessed as me — or not: What is your marriage advice for Prince William and Kate Middleton? I say sign don’t sign the prenup!!!

Answer: Thanks for the question! I love your enthusiasm!

I don’t think Kate will have much of a choice about signing the prenup before the April 29 nuptials. Britain’s royal family doesn’t have the best marriage record; three of Queen Elizabeth II’s four children have been divorced.

But that’s not really the point of today’s blog!

It’s hard for me to dispense marriage advice since I’ve never been married. And I hate to sound cliche — communicate, be honest and open, schedule date nights — but I don’t know anything else.

For me, being in a relationship takes work. I mean, a lot of it should come easily. You should want to spend time together, you should truly enjoy the other person’s company, and it shouldn’t be a burden to help each other. But everything else — carving out quality time, being patient, learning that what’s important to him is important even if it’s not important to you — takes effort. But if you love each other, you’ll want to do it — it’s not a problem.

Anyone got some advice for the royal couple? Hey, they might be Dr. Dish fans! You never know!


Here’s more advice: “The Best Marriage Advice I Ever Got” in Redbook.


Got a question? Email me at cat@nonstophonolulu.com.

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ASK DR. DISH: Drinking etiquette

ASK DR. DISH: Drinking etiquette

Question: Dr. Dish, my company has a policy that we cannot drink while at work events. But what about at networking mixers at bars and nightclubs? Technically it is not a work event.

Answer: Thanks for the question! It’s a good one, too, so this recently happened to me.

I was at “An Evening of Sustainable Cuisine” at the Halekulani to support the efforts to raise money for the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College, where I work as a journalism instructor. My chancellor and dean were in attendance, noshing on the “green” cuisine from Roy’s, town and the hotel.

But master mixologist Julie Reiner was there, too, serving up specialty cocktails that were hard to resist.

So what did I do?

Nothing. Until my dean walked over with a ginger beer drink and told me to try it. How could I not?

The rule of thumb is this: don’t get drunk. Don’t even get close.

Here’s the deal: even though it’s not technically a work event, you’re still representing your company (and your industry) at these mixers. You’re handing out your business card, right? Then people know who you are and where you work. And you don’t want to embarrass yourself or your company by downing six shots and licking the dance floor.

Be smart. Have a beer or nurse a cocktail. But don’t go overboard.

Anyone else got advice to dish? Or better yet — got a story to share?

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ASK DR. DISH: Big family, no money

ASK DR. DISH: Big family, no money

Question: I know you’re not married, but I figured maybe your readers could help. I am engaged to a guy who has a very large family. I have a big family, too. We also have a lot of friends, coworkers and clients. Our guest list right now is somewhere between 700 and 800 people. There is NO WAY we can afford a big wedding with that many guests! We will be BROKE! I have a friend who went to Italy to get married and only invited 12 people. Is that OK? Do people get upset if they don’t get invited to a wedding? We don’t want people to be mad at us. HELP!

Answer: Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with a destination wedding, especially if you want to keep the guest list short. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s your wedding — and unless they’re footing the bill, no one should have a say in your plans.

I have a friend like yours who went to Italy to get married. Only a handful of people attended — I didn’t; I couldn’t get away from work — and she was able to keep it intimate. It was like a wedding and honeymoon in one!

That said, it’s hard to avoid hurting people’s feelings when it comes to weddings. I know people who are upset about not getting invited to weddings — especially when they find out other people in the group were invited — and those feelings aren’t easy to fix. You have to just be honest and transparent with everyone, explain your situation and only invite the people who really matter. It’s hard, I can imagine, but it’s your wedding.

I actually don’t know if the advice I’m giving you is right. Anyone else out there can help? Maybe someone with experience?

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