A: Given the choice of harmless enjoyment or being frigid and rude, I’ll always pick the fun option. It sounds like you both had a lovely time and that was the end of it. Good for you. I am friendly to most everyone, including guys who turn out to be clueless regarding my intentions. My only admonition is that you keep the boundaries crystal clear. A hapless fellow crossed the line with me recently. He was walking in my direction in a parking lot and said, “Hey, I want to go home with you, as long as I wouldn’t get shot at.” My reply, “Well, my husband does have an impressive collection of firearms, and we’re both excellent shots.” This worked like a charm. Again, savor the attention without guilt, but don’t play in dangerous territory.
Q: What do you call your new stepfather when he’s already your uncle?
A: I have no idea, but I can think of some choice names for your sainted mother.
Q: I have friends who are radical proponents that everything in their universe must be non-GMO, gluten-free, organically grown, vegan with beverages out of cups that have never touched caffeine—yadda-yadda—you get the picture. Overall they are very nice people, and while I applaud their commitment to a healthy lifestyle, our social group (who are not as restrictive in their eating) cannot invite them to any event involving food without getting a lot of condescension or discussions of big food conspiracies. How do we keep their friendship but let them know gently that they need to back off?
A: I was vegan once. It was the worst two weeks of my life. The key words in your question are: radical, condescension and conspiracies. All that insanely healthy living has turned their brain to mush. That’s why a gentle approach will not work. I’m afraid you will have to drive the point home in a Mack truck loaded with dynamite in order to penetrate their gray matter. Remember that they have been obnoxious to you and the larger group. Fanatics do not make for good company. The solution is simple: Let them know that you value the friendship but that the nonsense must stop. Consistent enforcement will be essential to your success.
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Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of “The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life” and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at www.thecrackerqueen.com.