Meat-and-pota­toes type guy pans friend’s vegan cook­ing

Woonsocket Call - - Amusements - Jeanne Phillips


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 (not­too-tasty) 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


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.


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


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.


We host many gath­er­ings in our home dur­ing the year, in­clud­ing pic­nics. We have a down­stairs bath­room that is in­tended for guests. But twice now, I have en­coun­tered guests us­ing my up­stairs bath­room. I have never of­fered it, and I’m of­fended that they take it upon them­selves to go un­in­vited into pri­vate ter­ri­tory. I would never do that in some­one else’s house. Am I wrong, or are they over­step­ping the bound­aries here? —WON­DER­ING IN THE EAST

DEAR WON­DER­ING: To use your up­stairs bath­room with­out ask­ing your per­mis­sion is over­step­ping. The ex­cep­tion might be if the down­stairs bath­room was in use, and the need to get into one was ur­gent.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

To re­ceive a col­lec­tion of Abby’s most mem­o­rable — and most fre­quently re­quested — poems and es­says, send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Keep­ers Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.


For­mer Sen. Jake Garn, RU­tah, is 85. Singer Sam Moore (for­merly of Sam and Dave) is 82. Broad­cast jour­nal­ist Chris Wallace is 70. Ac­tress-singer Su­san An­ton is 67. Rock singer­mu­si­cian Pat DiNizio is 62. Pop/rock singer/song­writer Jane Siberry is 62. Jazz mu­si­cian Chris Botti is 55. Ac­tor Hugh Jackman is 49. Ac­tor Adam Rich is 49. Coun­try mu­si­cian Mar­tie Maguire (Court­yard Hounds, The Dixie Chicks) is 48. Ac­tor Kirk Cameron is 47. Olympic gold medal skier Bode Miller is 40.

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