Dotty LaFou has spent a lifetime buffing the ragged edges of ruined relationships. Now, she’s decided to be paid for it. If you have a question for Dotty, she’d love to hear it.



Dear Dotty,

My sister-in-law insists on telling me how fat I’m getting. It’s true that I have put on a few kilograms but my boyfriend recently left me and I missed out on a promotion at work. I’m trying to get back in shape but can’t deal with my sister-in-law’s taunts. Can you help?

Signed Tubby, Fortitude Valley, Qld


Dear Tubby,

There’s nothing worse than an overbearing sister-in-law with her high and mighty ways and pompous expression, always making outrageous claims about how fabulous she is, how much money she makes, how many invitations she gets and how the media loves her. For god’s sake, Berenice, air-kissing Sarah Murdoch at a Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania New Year’s Eve bash isn’t exactly receiving an Order of Australia for philanthropy. Such hauteur, it’s utterly unbecoming. Dear Tubby from Fortitude Valley, I think perhaps I was venting just a tad, but you see, I fully empathise with you because I too have an opinionated sister-in-law who thinks she’s the cat’s whiskers. She won’t be bested, no matter what.

One time, for instance, I met Paul Keating in an elevator and remarked to him that it was lovely weather. He agreed wholeheartedly with me and we got on like a house on fire for the whole two floors we travelled together. But do you think Berenice was impressed? No, she dismissed me with a wave of her perfectly manicured hand, simply because he once outbid her at an auction for a rather beautiful antique French clock. But give her an inch and she’ll bang on about how she met Blanche d’Alpuget at a fundraiser and how they’re now best friends. Well, we all know that’s not true; Berenice is an inveterate liar. And anyway, I saw Blanche at the theatre one evening (she was sitting two rows in front of me) and she doesn’t look at all like the sort of person who could possibly entertain a friendship with my sister-in-law.

But back to you, darling Tubby. I feel so close to you and I know that sharing my stories with you will give you some comfort. I’d suggest you avoid your bossy sister-in-law while you shed those unsightly kilograms. Your best incentive is to imagine the look on her egotistical over-made-up stupid face when you arrive at a family get-together looking lissomly lovely. There’s truly nothing better than one-upmanship in a case regarding painful sisters-in-law. By the way, I’ve kept your address on file because when I finally get the better of Berenice, I just know you’ll be dying for me to tell you.

Glad to have been of help. Ta ta for now.





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