Meat-and-pota­toes man pans his friend’s ve­gan cook­ing

The Garden Island - - Pau Hana Time - JEAN PHILLIPS

DEAR ABBY: I re­tired af­ter a 40-year ca­reer. A friend from work, “Bernie,” is the same age I am (62) but is still work­ing.

Six years ago, I had a se­ri­ous health cri­sis. Three years ago, Bernie sur­vived a heart at­tack. Since then, Bernie wor­ries in­ces­santly about dy­ing. He ex­er­cises rig­or­ously and eats a strictly ve­gan diet. I like to spend time with him, but I’m more ca­sual about diet and ex­er­cise.

Nei­ther of us is go­ing to be a GQ model, re­gard­less of how much we diet or ex­er­cise. I say life should be en­joyed, but Bernie is too busy ob­sess­ing, com­pul­sively tak­ing medicine and work­ing out.

Today he in­vited me out to sup­per. In­stead of go­ing to a restau­rant, he said he was cook­ing another of his (not-tootasty) ve­gan meals. I don’t want to of­fend or dis­cour­age Bernie, but I hate his cook­ing. What should I do? Would a steak and a baked potato kill him? — PAUNCHY BUT HAPPY IN KEN­TUCKY

DEAR PAUNCHY: Be­cause you en­joy Bernie’s com­pany, call him and tell him you would love to come to sup­per, but be­cause you are a car­ni­vore you will be bring­ing your own steak and potato with you, so fire up the broiler.

DEAR ABBY: My mother died from a heroin over­dose when I was 8. As a mother with chil­dren of my own, I of­ten find my­self get­ting upset when peo­ple say nice things about her — things that would nor­mally make peo­ple feel good, such as, “Oh, she would have been so proud of you,” or, “She was such a great woman.” I feel that if she was such a great woman, she wouldn’t have cho­sen drugs over her (or our) well-be­ing. How can I let go of the anger I feel to­ward her when ev­ery­one else sees her only in a good light? — MIXED FEEL­INGS ABOUT MOM

DEAR MIXED FEEL­INGS: I’m sorry for the loss of your mother at such a ten­der age and un­der such tragic cir­cum­stances. Far more is un­der­stood about drug ad­dic­tion today than was known when you were a child. We now know that ad­dic­tion can be less about a lack of char­ac­ter than a med­i­cal prob­lem.

I se­ri­ously doubt that when your mother gave her­self her fi­nal fix she re­al­ized it would be her last. While I sym­pa­thize with your anger at be­ing cheated out of her pres­ence in your life, it would be bet­ter for your own qual­ity of life if you could accept that she was a hu­man be­ing and fal­li­ble. A li­censed men­tal health pro­fes­sional can help you work through your anger, and I hope you will talk to one soon. ••• To con­tact Abby visit Dear­Abby.com.

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