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-too-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 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.
DEAR ABBY: 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Linda Louise Gross, 73, of North Bend, passed away Oct. 6, 2017 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 7th & Anderson, 541-267-3131. www.coosbayareafunerals.com.
Ronald Lee Cowden, 83, of North Bend, passed away Oct. 9,2017 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 7th & Anderson, 541-267-3131 www.coosbayareafunerals.com.
Frances N. Hoffman, age 76 of Coos Bay, passed away Oct. 6, 2017 at Coos Bay. Arrangements under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.
Natalie L. Garrett, age 74, of Bandon, passed away Oct. 7, 2017 at Coos Bay. Arrangements under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.
Dolores Freeman, age 91, of North Bend, passed away Oct. 7, 2017, at North Bend. Arrangements under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.
Colette R. Devine, age 70, of Coos Bay, passed away Oct. 8, 2017, at Coos Bay. Arrangements under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.
Margaret Davids, age 85, of Coos Bay, passed away Oct. 9, 2017 at Coos Bay. Arrangements under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.
Mary C. Smothers, age 60, of North Bend, passed away Oct. 10, 2017 at Coos Bay. Arrangements under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, Coos Bay, 541-267-4216.
George H. Denson, 84, of Bandon, passed away on Oct. 11, 2017 in Bandon. Arrangements are under the care of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440.
Vernon “Pete” D. Johnson, 88, of Lakeside, formerly of Ogden, Utah, passed away on Oct. 7, 2017 in Portland. Arrangements are under the care of North Bend Chapel, 541-756-0440. www.coosbayareafunerals.com.
Mary Lou Brawley, 87, of Coos Bay, formerly of North Bend died Oct. 10, 2017 in Coos Bay. Arrangements are under the direction of Coos Bay Chapel 685 Anderson Ave. , 541-267-3131, www.coosbayareafunrerals.com.
A graveside service for Carl Andrew Alfred Ross, 90, of North Bend,will be held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 12 at Ocean View Memory Gardens,1525 Ocean Boulevard in Coos Bay, with pastor Jon Strasman of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, officiating. A celebration of life will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 14 at Sunset Bay Park Gazebo, located at the south end of the park.