Dear Amy: “Caroline” has been a dear friend since we were teens 35 years ago. We both came from religious, conservative families, and always have shared the same beliefs — until now.
During the past five years, my way of life has changed a lot. For many reasons, I no longer attend church or believe in her religion. I defend equality rights that she views as sinful, and I even cuss and have a beer on occasion. It has been a long and liberating journey for me.
I have not explicitly told Caroline that I’ve changed. I only see her once per year. I realize that I am not what she thinks I am.
Perhaps I’m being a coward, but I just don’t want to discuss this with her. I know she will be disappointed, judgmental and try to evangelize to me. She is smart and very good at debating, and has a quick answer for everything. Sadly, I stink at that, even when I feel very strongly that I’m right.
She is going to visit me in a few months. Is it necessary to have a conversation with her? If so, do you have any advice on how to have this conversation? — Losing My Religion
Dear Losing: One of the many benefits of adulthood is that adults get to change.
Another benefit is that you don’t have to discuss anything you don’t want to discuss. It is not “necessary” to have any particular conversation.
Keep in mind that your old friend has the same benefits (toward change or stasis) that you possess. And, like you, she might have areas of her life that she would prefer to keep off-limits.
If you two spend time together and you find that you want to discuss the change in your faith-status, you should keep it simple. The more detail you overlay onto your point, the more points “Caroline” will find to debate.
Her disappointment regarding your life-change is her burden to bear. You should not assume responsibility for her reactions.
If she feels the need to evangelize to you, ask her to stop, and say, “I’m completely at peace with my point of view, so this really isn’t up for discussion,” and change the subject.
There is nothing wrong with engaging in a hearty debate, by the way, if both sides are permitted to express themselves and each of you listen and respond respectfully.
Dear Amy: Like many people, my wife and I send out Christmas cards during the holiday season — one card to each household on our list.
Some folks who have other household members (age 21 and older) living with them have asked us to send a separate card to each of their adult children in the household.
These are single adults living in their childhood bedroom, not a family living in separate quarters on the property.
We think “and family” covers everyone under the same roof. By the way, those extra adults do not send out their own cards.
We update addresses, and add or drop folks, in what we believe to be normal Christmas list maintenance. Did some etiquette change? — Getting Carded
Dear Carded: I understand that there are circumstances where perhaps an adult child has a special need and will be cohabiting with parents for the duration of their lifetime. In that case, it would be kindest to send the adult child a separate card.
Otherwise the idea that these parents would advocate for their babies to receive separate Christmas cards sent to their home address tells me that these parents will be enjoying the company of their adult children in their household for many Christmases to come.
Tell them, “When the kids have their own mailing addresses, we will be delighted to add them to our mailing list.”
Dear Amy: I am a university professor of pharmacy science. A recent question from “Wondering,” regarding using CBD prompted me to respond.
Anyone using any form of cannabidiol (CBD) should talk with their pharmacist about possible drug to drug interactions and side effects.
Pharmacists are the drug experts. We answer questions about drugs and dietary supplements every day. We are happy to provide correct and scientifically sound information about any drug a patient chooses to use, including cannabidiol.
Thank you for all you do to make people’s lives better, and for helping to promote the safe use of medications, even those that might be purchased without a prescription. — Ally
Dear Ally: My local pharmacist is a font of information — and a lifesaver.