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Ask Ellie: Overdone eye makeup is colleague's business

My grandmother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Dear Lisi: One of my colleagues wears very heavy eye makeup every day. She did before COVID, but when we wore masks and only our eyes were visible, she went even more dramatic.

Her skill level with cosmetics is impressive — I can barely swipe mascara on my upper lashes. But it’s unattractive and over the top, especially in our line of work. I’ve never told her my opinion. We’re not that close, and I doubt she’d care what I think.

However, recently I overheard two other work colleagues making fun of her. I couldn’t say anything in the moment because it would have seemed I was eavesdropping. I wasn’t, but they didn’t know I was present.

Should I say something to them? Should I say something to her? Or should I just keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself?

Barely visible

My grandmother used to say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

I’d watch my back with those other two, though. If they’re talking smack about your colleague at work, then they’ll have no problem talking about you too. And if you do hear them trash talking anyone else, ever, then yes, you must say something to them. Their behaviour is not appropriate nor kind.

As for your colleague and her eye makeup, if it’s not offensive or negatively affecting her work, leave her alone. If it makes her happy, let her look the way she wants.

Dear Lisi: My dog doesn’t like me. We got her as a rescue, and she’s a great dog. She was mangy and frightened of everyone and everything when we brought her home. But after a couple of good baths, some home grooming and a few visits to the vet, she’s in great health.

She still doesn’t like me. She ignores me, doesn’t listen to me at all, won’t eat if I’m the one who feeds her. She will literally leave the room when I enter.

What do I have to do to win this dog’s affection? It’s actually negatively affecting my relationship.

In the dog house

On behalf of all homeless dogs, thank you for rescuing her. I’m sure in her little heart of hearts, she’s grateful.

Perhaps before you found her, she was wronged by someone who looks like you, smells like you, feels like you — but wasn’t you. That last part is the most important because she will learn to love you eventually. It may take time; remember, this is a relationship with a living being. But it will happen if you show her love and affection and provide her with shelter and sustenance.

Be patient and loving

Dear Lisi: My sister’s boyfriend is a nice guy but not that intelligent. My sister likes him a lot, and they have fun together. But I see her roll her eyes when he says things that aren’t that smart.

He’s a nice person, but I don’t think he’s a good fit for my sister for various reasons. He also lacks motivation and ambition. She has a very strong work ethic, and her career choice shows how smart, loving and amazing a person she is (specifics omitted for anonymity); he wants a very basic j-o-b.

She knows he’s not “the one” but they’re still together. How do I get her to see that it’s nicer to break up sooner than later?

Concerned Sister

I think your sister has it under control. Talk to her and find out her plan. She may surprise you. He may just be some fun for now, and he may feel the same way. As you say, she’s no dummy. Step back.


Regarding the friend who wrote in about her schoolmate who is having a hard time at university (Oct. 7):

Reader: “This girl may have a Generalized Anxiety Disorder with phobias and needs to see her family physician or a physician at student health ASAP. Her friend can let her know that excellent treatments are available, and she can live a happier life with some help. The writer should not pull away but instead help her friend to get the medical care she needs.”

Lisi: Thank you so much for this. As a medical doctor, you definitely read more between the lines than I did. I appreciate your suggestions. And though I agree that the letter writer could be more helpful, I also take their age and life stage into consideration.

I hope the letter writer sees this and does try to help her friend more.

Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are advice columnists for the Star and based in Toronto. Send your relationship questions via email: [email protected].